MTECHTIPS:-Oil turns higher as focus shifts to U.S. stockpile data

Oil prices gained during North American morning hours on Tuesday, reversing overnight losses as market players looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30 PM ET (21:30 GMT) later on Tuesday. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock rise of 3.1 million barrels. Crude oil for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 65 cents, or about 1.2%, to 53.27 a barrel by 9:10 AM ET (14:10 GMT), after falling to a session low of $52.24 earlier. Prices lost 54 cents, or around 1%, on Monday, amid concerns that rising output from the U.S. could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market. Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London advanced 77 cents, or about 1.4%, to $56.09 a barrel. Futures slumped 38 cents, or nearly 0.7%, a day earlier. Oil prices were on track to end January with a loss of about 2% as sentiment has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers. U.S. drilling activity has risen by more than 6% since mid-2016, taking it back to levels seen in late 2014, when strong U.S. crude output contributed to a collapse in oil prices




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