NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Crude prices rose about 4 percent on Tuesday as a rally in U.S. gasoline and diesel amid an outage on key pipeline system added support to oil markets already boosted by an industry strike in Brazil and force majeure for Libyan crude loadings.
The rise in crude prices came ahead of industry group American Petroleum Institute's (API) data on U.S. oil inventories at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT), which were expected to cite a sixth weekly build in crude stockpiles.
"If you look at the supply situation, the bigger picture is bearish. But the price action suggests the path of least resistance is higher for now," said Scott Shelton, oil broker and commodities specialist at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.
Brent settled up $1.75, or 3.6 percent, at $50.54 a barrel, after hitting a session high at $50.91.
U.S. crude finished up $1.76, or 3.8 percent, at $47.90. The day's peak was $48.36.
"From a technical point of view, both oil contracts are displaying bullish characteristics, although neither has yet to make a decisive breakthrough," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at forex.com. He pegged resistance for Brent at between $51 and $52 and for U.S. crude at above $48.50.
An oil workers' strike in Brazil, the ninth biggest global producer, that began on Sunday cut around half a million barrels of output in the first 24 hours and has slowed state-run Petrobras' daily oil output by around 25 percent, according to the workers' union.
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