US Crude Rises On Economic Data, Strong Products Market


NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil rose on Monday backed by strong U.S. economic data, while Brent edged up after nearing a two-year low last week.

With U.S. refinery maintenance season around the corner, analysts said, prices for U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), may come under pressure. Gasoline prices have risen around 6 percent in the last two weeks because of refinery maintenance shutdowns, and strength in gasoline has supported crude prices.

"I think demand by U.S. refiners to make product to export is definitely supporting WTI prices," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "Looking overseas, reports that Libya's production has climbed back ... means we don't have supply disruptions."

U.S. crude for November delivery rose $1.03 to settle at $94.57 while Brent rose 20 cents to settle at $97.20 a barrel.

The U.S. crude contract saw a slight bump in the afternoon after data showed seasonal refinery maintenance on the U.S. Gulf Coast will peak next month at some 500,000 barrels per day, while crude unit outages will ease quickly in November, according to IIR data.

U.S. crude futures traded up some 26 cents over the next half hour on news that refinery maintenance was set to shut 720,000 bpd of crude unit capacity in October vs the 901,000 bpd five-year average.

Meanwhile, Brent's premium over WTI <CL-LCO1=R> narrowed to the smallest in 12 months, touching $2.57 a barrel, before widening to $2.63 a barrel.


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