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US oil prices rise ahead of supply report

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Oil prices in New York moved higher on Tuesday, snapping a three-day losing streak ahead of a report on US petroleum supplies.

[NEW YORK] Oil prices in New York moved higher on Tuesday, snapping a three-day losing streak ahead of a report on US petroleum supplies.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in July added 45 cents at US$59.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

But European benchmark Brent oil for August delivery slipped 25 cents to US$63.70 a barrel in London.

Many analysts expect the weekly US crude supply report Wednesday to again show a decline in inventories. Commercial stocks have declined the last six weeks.

However, that bullish signal has been countered by lofty US petroleum production.

Last week's report showed US oil output rose to 9.61 million barrels a day, the highest level on record. Petroleum companies have been able to keep output high despite lower oil prices by scaling back riskier drilling and focusing on the most efficient prospects.

"The medium-term outlook remains bearish due to the glut of oil that remains on the market," said Kathleen Brooks, research director at traders Forex.com.

Adding to the downward pressure on oil has been worries that Greece will default on its debt, "with the uncertainty over the outcome limiting Brent market sentiment in particular," said Citi Futures analyst Tim Evans.

Traders were also watching Tropical Storm Bill, which was expected to make landfall over the refinery-rich Texas coast later on Tuesday.

The storm could force refiners to curtail output, hitting demand for crude oil but raising the premium on gasoline and other refined products, said a note from Commerzbank.

AFP