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Oil Posts Best Close of 2015

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On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May rose $1.84, or 3.5%, to close at $53.98 a barrel—the highest settlement since Dec. 30. Over the past two sessions, May crude has gained nearly 10% Brent crude for May delivery  on London’s ICE Futures rose 98 cents, or 1.7%, to $59.10 a barrel, contributing to a 7.6% two-day rise. Bulls “are really running with it right now,” said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities, in a phone interview. Investors expect crude-oil data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday to show a second consecutive weekly decline in oil production and for supplies at the Nymex futures delivery hub in Cushing, Okla., to show a drop or only a very small increase, Yawger said.

Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast total U.S. oil inventories to show a rise of 3.4 million barrels, on average, in the week ended April 3. The EIA report is due at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday.

Less influential inventories data from the American Petroleum Institute is expected later Wednesday.

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