Crude oil prices gain in early Asia as investors await Greece reforms

Crude oil prices nudged higher in Asia on Tuesday with U.S. supply data ahead and a market eyeing events in Greece for signs of any further currency turmoil.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.11% to $49.37 a barrel.

Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, will give estimates of U.S. crude and refined product stocks last week. On Wednesday more closely watched data from the U.s.Department of Energy will be released.

Overnight, crude oil futures extended sharp losses from last week on Monday, as a broadly stronger dollar and lingering concerns over a glut in global supplies drove down prices.

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. totaled 1,019, the lowest since August 2011. The number of oil rigs has declined in 16 of the last 19 weeks since hitting an all-time high of 1,609 in mid-October.

However, government data showed that oil supplies in the U.S. rose to the highest level in at least 80 years last week, indicating that cheap prices have yet to affect output.

Meanwhile, investors remained cautious as Greece was to present a list of reforms on Monday to be approved by the country’s creditors in order to secure its four-month bailout extension, which will give it more time to reach a lasting agreement with its creditors.

 Varchev Traders

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