Oil gains on US plans to refill reserves, supply concerns

Tokyo, May 16 (BNA): Oil prices rose for a second day on Tuesday, supported by US plans to buy oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and wildfires in Canada fueling supply concerns.

Reuters reported that a batch of weaker-than-expected Chinese data indicated the failure of the weak economy to lower prices, with the market focusing instead on increasing refinery throughput in the world’s second-largest oil consumer.

Brent crude futures rose 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $75.53 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.38 a barrel, up 27 cents, or 0.38%.

Both benchmarks rose more than 1% on Monday, reversing a 3-session losing streak.

On Monday, the US Energy Department said it would buy three million barrels of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for delivery in August, and requested bids by May 31.

Data showed on Tuesday that the productivity of Chinese oil refineries in April rose 18.9 percent from a year earlier, to the second highest level ever.

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