RTTNews - Crude oil closed above $70 per barrel on Tuesday for the first time this year as the Energy Information Administration boosted its short-term energy outlook.

Light sweet crude for July delivery climbed to $70.01 per barrel, up $1.92 on the session, its best close since Nov. 4. Crude touched as high as $70.18, challenging the multi-month intraday high of $70.32 reached last week.

The Energy Information Administration boosted its expectations for the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil to an average of $67 per barrel for the second half of 2009. This is up about $16 compared with the first half of the year.

In its May report, the EIA said it expected prices to remain around $55 per barrel for the rest of the year.

Similar reports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency are expected later in the week.

Investors also awaited the EIA's weekly inventory report at 10:30 a.m. ET tomorrow. Last week's data showed crude inventories increased by 2.9 million barrels in the week ended May 29. Experts were looking for a drop of about 2 million barrels.

In economic news, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it would allow 10 major banks - including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group (GS) - to buy back preferred stock and warrants invested by the department to shore up the financial system.

Meanwhile, a Commerce Department report showed that wholesale inventories fell 1.4 percent in April following a revised 1.8 percent decrease in March. Economists had expected inventories to decrease by about 1.1 percent compared to the 1.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

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