West Texas Intermediate crude erased losses after measures of leading indicators raised optimism that a stronger U.S. economy will boost oil demand.
Prices were little changed after falling as much as 0.8 percent. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.5 percent last month, the biggest gain since November. WTI followed gains in U.S. stocks as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded. Crude fell earlier as the dollar strengthened and stockpiles grew for a ninth week.
“The market is very data dependent,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Better economic reports raise expectations for oil demand. That’s supportive for oil.”
WTI futures for April delivery, which expires today, climbed 12 cents to $100.49 a barrel at 10:17 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more-active May contract rose 22 cents to $99.39. The volume of all futures traded was about 18 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
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