Oil Up 11% After 2-Day Rally; Trade Volatile On Stock Builds



Reuters

NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose strongly again on Monday, tacking on a total of 11 percent over two straight sessions, as some investors bet that a bottom had formed to the seven-month long rout on the market even as others remained pessimistic.

Benchmark Brent and U.S. oil futures swung in a band of about $4 a barrel, one of their widest in weeks, as near-term technical signals indicated further gains while fundamental data continued to weigh on the market.

The spread between the two oils <CL-LCO1=R> widened to above $5 a barrel, its widest since November.

Traders said oil services company Genscape estimated a stock build of 2.3 million barrels in the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for U.S. crude last week, adding to already record-high inventories in the United States.

A U.S. refinery strike, which theoretically meant higher crude supplies in the market, along with disappointing U.S. consumer spending and manufacturing data, also knocked oil prices off early highs.

"I don't think anything's changed fundamentally, except for the psychology of the market," said Chandravir Ahuja, an analyst at Kolmar Americas Inc in Bridgeport, Connecticut. "We're moving a lot more on headlines that we probably would on a normal day."

Brent settled up $1.76, or 3.3 percent, at $54.75 a barrel, swinging between a session high of $55.62 and a low of $51.41.


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