Singapore: Crude oil rose in New York, snapping a three-day decline, on speculation that US gasoline inventories fell last week as the peak demand season approaches.
Crude oil for April delivery gained 39 cents to $56.98 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $56.90 at midsession in Singapore.
The contract, which expires at the end of trading on 20 March, fell 52 cents, or 0.9% to $56.59 on 19 March, the lowest close since 29 January. The more active May contract rose 48 cents to $60.18 a barrel.
US gasoline demand usually peaks between the Memorial Day holiday in late May and Labour Day in early September.
A US Energy Department report will probably show that gasoline inventories declined for a sixth week, falling 2 million barrels in the week ended 16 March, according to a survey.
Gasoline futures have risen 44% in the past two months as stockpiles dropped to their five-year average and demand climbed 2.8% per cent from a year earlier.
Gasoline for April delivery was at $1.9570 a gallon in after-hours trading after jumping 2.7% to $1.9581 dollars on 19 March, the highest close since 22 August.