Oil prices settled with a gain Wednesday, with the U.S. benchmark making a last minute turn higher, buoyed by a second consecutive weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories and continued signs of a pullback in the global glut of oil. Prices had suffered from pressure early in the trading session after the International Energy Agency lowered its oil demand growth forecast for 2018 global oil demand. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June West Texas Intermediate crude added 18 cents, or nearly 0.3%, to settle at $71.49 a barrel after an intraday low at $70.66. Prices were trading lower up until the last half hour of Nymex trading. July Brent crude the global benchmark, finished up 85 cents, or 1.1%, at $79.28 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Both WTI and Brent marked their highest settlements since November 2014. Energy traders have been focusing on the spread between U.S. benchmark WTI and Brent, which stands at over $7, as a signal of demand for crude from Europe and Asia, market participants said. (source: marketwatch)