Oil prices rise ahead on inventory data and Mideast tensions

Crude-oil futures ended higher Tuesday as Mideast tensions supported prices, then built on their gains in electronic trading after the first release of weekly supply data. Crude for July delivery +0.36%  added 67 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $98.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude oil futures for August delivery settled 55 cents higher at $106.02 per barrel after trading as high as $106.24. Front-month U.S. crude oil futures finished the day 67 cents higher at $98.44 per barrel, after trading as high as $98.61. U.S. oil prices fell short of $98.74, a nine-month high, reached on Monday.

U.S. crude supplies dropped by 4.3 million barrels for the week ended June 14, the API said. Gasoline inventories increased by 900,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles dipped by 600,000 barrels. Analysts were looking for a rise of 1.2 million barrels in gasoline inventories and an increase of 300,000 barrels in distillate supplies.