Investing.com – WTI crude oil prices settled higher Tuesday, led by surging gas prices as Hurricane Florence threatened U.S. East Coast gasoline markets.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, for October delivery rose 2.5% to settle at $69.25 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, rose 2.25% to trade at $79.11 a barrel.
Investors increased bets on a further advanced in oil prices as forecasters warned that Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall later this week, could be the strongest storm to hit the Carolinas in 60 years.
The rise in oil prices was led by a sharp uptick in on increased demand amid concerns the storm could disrupt output in the region. This comes despite analysts warning that the storm would most likely pressure crude demand, holding back oil prices.
Also boosting oil prices were signs that looming U.S. sanctions on Iran were forcing crude customers to abandon Iranian crude.
France and South Korea reportedly cut Iranian crude purchases, forcing the Islamic Republic to effectively remove some oil from global markets, Bloomberg said.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement in May, allowing sanctions against Iran to snap back into place. The first wave of sanctions went into effect last month and a second set of sanctions on Iran’s crude exports are slated for early November.
Heading into settlement, investor focus shifted to fresh U.S. crude supply data expected to show a drawdown in stockpiles for the third week in a row.
U.S. petroleum inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is due later in the session at 4:30 p.m., while official data from EIA is set to be released Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
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