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Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday and lifted the near month crude futures contract to its first positive close in four sessions.

A report from the U.S. National Hurricane Centre that a storm forming over the Western Gulf of Mexico will likely become a cyclone over the weekend raised concerns about possible disruptions in production and supported oil prices today.

Traders also weighed prospects of excess supply in the market following signs of progress in Iran nuclear talks, and uncertainty about energy demand due to the surge in coronavirus cases in Asia.

However, it is expected that gasoline demand will see a surge in the U.S. and Europe thanks to reopening of businesses and the momentum in vaccination drive.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended up by $1.64 or about 2.7% at $63.58 a barrel.

WTI futures shed 2.7% in the week.

Brent crude futures were up $1.44 or 2.2% at $66.55 a barrel a little while ago.

According to reports, top policymakers said sanctions prohibiting Iranian oil export could be lifted sometime soon. The Persian Gulf nation’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said world powers have accepted that major sanctions will be lifted, though details and finer points are still awaited.

Some of the most optimistic analysts estimate the country could return to pre-sanctions production of 4 million barrels a day in as little as three months.

A report from Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by 4 to 356 this week, increasing for a third straight week. The total active U.S. rig count climbed by 2 to 455, the report said.


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