West TX Oil Near $56 as Saudis Lead Airstrike on Yemen

U.S. crude futures closed up 2.81 percent at $57.74, its highest settle of the year, on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its allies maintained a bombing blitz in Yemen that heightened concerns about the security of Middle East oil supplies.

Oil buyers also stoked the rally with bets that U.S. crude output will shrink further after two straight weeks of declines, traders and analysts said.  Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition pounded Houthi militiamen and military bases in Yemen, residents said, two days after Riyadh announced it was ending the blitz.

Brent crude for June was up $2.02, more than 3 percent, at $64.75 a barrel. The contract earlier rose to an intraday high for 2015 of $65.58. U.S. crude for June also touched a new 2015 intraday peak of $58.41 before closing at its highest levels since Dec. 12.