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May 12, 2021, 2:39 p.m. EDT

Oil futures settle at highest since March amid brighter U.S. demand prospects

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By Myra P. Saefong

Oil futures settled at their highest level since March on Wednesday, finding support in the wake of an overall upbeat outlook for 2021 oil demand from the International Energy Agency. Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. demand brightened ahead of the summer driving season. The Energy Information Administration reported strong implied U.S. demand for motor gasoline in the last four weeks and said domestic crude inventories fell last week, though the 400,000-barrel decrease was smaller than most analysts expected. June West Texas Intermediate crude rose 80 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $66.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest front-month contract finish since March, FactSet data show.

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