Oil prices remain near multi-year highs as energy crisis continues |...

Oil futures rose on Tuesday, October 19, to stay near multi-year highs as severe energy shortages persisted around the world, while slumping temperatures in China renewed concern about whether the world’s largest energy consumer can meet domestic heating needs.

The international benchmark Brent crude contracts ended the trading session up 75 cents, to settle at $85.08 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude contracts rose 52 cents to close at $82.96.

Oil prices have recorded sharp increases over the past two weeks.

Since the beginning of September, Brent has jumped about 19%, while US crude has recorded gains of about 21%.

Traders and analysts said that with temperatures dropping as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere and heating demand increasing, oil, coal and natural gas prices are likely to remain high.

Investors are awaiting the latest weekly data on crude and fuel stocks in the United States, which is expected to be released by the American Petroleum Institute later today and the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

Analysts expected an increase in US oil stocks last week and a decrease in gasoline and distillate stocks.

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