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Crude oil futures settled higher on Thursday, lifted by reports that China has ordered state-owned energy companies to secure winter supplies.

Oil also found support on reports that Citigroup expects oil balances to be in a 1.5 million-barrel-per-day deficit on average over the next six months, even with continued supply increases.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended higher by $0.20 or about 0.3% at $75.03 a barrel.

Brent futures were up $0.16 or 0.19% at $78.25 a barrel a little while ago.

WTI futures gained about 9.5% in September. In the latest quarter, oil futures gained 2.1%.

Data released by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showed crude stockpiles increased by about 4.6 million barrels in the week ended September 24, rising for the first time in eight weeks. Markets had expected crude stockpiles to see a drop of 4.5 million barrels in the week.

The EIA’s report also showed gasoline inventories rose by 200,000 barrels last week versus an expected increase of about 700,000 barrels. Distillate stockpiles rose by 400,000 barrels compared to an expected decline of 2.2 million barrels.

Traders now await a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively called OPEC+, on Monday. The group is meeting to decide on crude production levels.

The group is widely expected to hold to a pact on adding 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to their output for November.


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