Oil prices rose for a second session on Wednesday on signs of strong demand for fuel in Western economies, as the prospect of a return to Iranian supplies faded as the US Secretary of State faded. said sanctions against Tehran were unlikely to be lifted.
Brent crude futures rose 32 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 72.54 a barrel at 0640 GMT, after hitting $ 72.83 previously, the highest since May 20, 2019. The Brent rose 1% on Tuesday.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 31 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 70.36 a barrel, after hitting $ 70.62, the highest since Oct. 17, 2018 WTI prices climbed 1.2% on Tuesday.
“Improving demand outlook appears to be supporting crude oil prices as the successful vaccine rollout and summer driving season in the US and Europe continue to support fuel demand,” said Margaret Yang, strategist at DailyFX, based in Singapore.
Recent traffic data suggests travelers are taking the roads as restrictions relax, analysts from ANZ Research said in a note, highlighting data from TomTom which showed traffic congestion in 15 European cities had reached its highest level since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US Energy Information Administration forecast on Tuesday that fuel consumption growth this year in the United States, the world’s largest user of oil, would be 1.49 million barrels per day (bpd), up from a previous forecast of 1.39 million bpd. Read more
Another positive sign, industry data showed that US crude oil inventories fell last week, in line with analysts’ expectations, according to a Reuters poll.
The US Energy Information Administration’s inventory data is due Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. GMT.
Price hikes had been capped in recent weeks, with oil investors speculating that sanctions on Iranian exports would be lifted and that oil supply would increase this year as Iran talks with Western powers over a deal. nuclear progress.
However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that even if Iran and the United States returned to honoring a nuclear deal, hundreds of US sanctions against Tehran would remain in place. Read more
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