US crude-oil futures rose nearly $2 a barrel Wednesday to end just shy of $96 on expectations that US crude inventories fell last week and on worries that Turkish air strikes inside Iraq may disrupt oil supplies from the Middle East.
Crude-oil futures for February delivery closed up $1.84 at $95.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude earlier rose to an intraday high of $96.54 in electronic trading, its highest level in a month. The US Energy Information Administration will report last week’s US crude inventories on Thursday. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires are expecting a drop of 1.2 million barrels. The Turkish military announced Wednesday its warplanes hit eight suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq, the third cross-border air assault in 10 days, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Iraq, which holds the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, produced 2.3 million barrels a day of crude in November, about 2.7% of the world’s consumption, according to the International Energy Agency. (people.com.cn)