NEW YORK, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Crude oil futures prices advanced on Tuesday as Saudi energy minister's latest comments drove up expectations of another production cut by oil producing countries.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery gained 86 cents, or 1.19 percent, to settle at 72.91 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July delivery moved up 85 cents, or 1.12 percent, to settle at 76.84 U.S. dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Oil prices nudged higher on Tuesday following the warning from Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman that short-sellers will be "ouching" as they did in April, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, a supplier of online multi-asset trading services.
"Watch out" was the message ahead of the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners early next month in what may be a sign that the group is considering cutting output once more amid a bleaker global economic outlook, according to Erlam.
Moreover, U.S. commercial crude and gasoline inventory should have decreased by 500,000 barrels and 800,000 barrels last week, according to a survey by S&P Global.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled to issue weekly oil inventory data on Wednesday.