Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Oil hits 6-week high on inventory data, Middle East worries

BP_Alexander Oil hits 6-week high on inventory data, Middle East worries
Jodi Jackson | 22 March, 2018, 02:15

Analysts had expected an increase of 2.6 million barrels.

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery, which expires on Tuesday, climbed as much as 25 cents to $62.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $62.26 by 1:47 pm in Tokyo.

Trump could withdraw the USA from the historic nuclear deal with Iran, and impose sanctions on the country, which then would make it harder for Tehran to export crude and oil products to the global market.

Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord between Tehran and six world powers, raising the prospect of new sanctions that could hurt Iran's oil industry.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, lifted by tensions in the Middle East and healthy demand, although rising USA output continued to weigh on markets.

Traders pointed to concerns in the Middle East, where the USA may reimpose sanctions on Iran, as well as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Oil has swung around this month after registering its worst February decline in half a decade as a global equity market rout spread to commodities.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, which are trying to ease a global glut via output cuts, are said to have complied with pledged curbs at a rate of 138% in February.

While this may be music to the American ear, OPEC member countries and non-Member countries involved in the Declaration of Cooperation which caps oil production in countries that are party to the deal with the aim of stabilizing prices, will not share the enthusiasm.

While US energy demand is at 11-year highs, US crude oil production is also surging at the same time.

The bullish report was somewhat tempered by USA crude production, which climbed to a fresh record of 10.4 million barrels per day in the week.

In gasoline, the EIA reported a 1.7-million-barrel inventory decline, on top of the 6.3-million-barrel fall reported for the previous week. The global benchmark crude traded at a $3.92 premium to WTI for the same month.

But even though Tuesday's market performance was more in line with trading activity in 2018 as a whole, the price discrepancy between WTI and Brent worries Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services International.

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