Oil costs shake off COVID blues as Brent hits

Oil costs shake off COVID blues as Brent hits $60

Oil costs rose to their highest ranges in over a yr on Monday, as output cuts and US stimulus hopes drive crude larger.

Oil costs rose on Monday to their highest in simply over a yr, with Brent nudging previous $60 a barrel, boosted by provide cuts amongst key producers and hopes for additional financial stimulus measures in america that may enhance demand.

International benchmark Brent crude was up 68 cents, or 1.2 %, at $60.02 a barrel by 14:42 GMT, whereas US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 68 cents, or 1.2 %, to $57.53 a barrel.

“Managing to breach $60 once more feels just like the market is lastly resurfacing after the lengthy wrestle and [taking] a correct breath,” mentioned Rystad Power’s vice chairman for oil markets Paola Rodriguez-Masiu. “It presents a sense of normality once more.”

Each contracts had been at their highest ranges since January 2020.

“Oil costs are again near pre-pandemic ranges,” mentioned Norbert Rucker, analyst at Swiss financial institution Julius Baer.

The US oil rig depend, an early indicator of future output, rose final week to its highest since Might, based on power companies agency Baker Hughes Co [File: Angus Mordant/Reuters]

“Help appears strong and the narrative sees the oil market swiftly burning by means of the remaining disaster surplus, probably working into tightness later this yr,” he added.

The oil market continues to tighten, with Saudi Arabia pledging additional provide cuts in February and March following reductions by different members of the Group of the Petroleum Exporting International locations and its allies.

In an indication that immediate provides are tightening, the six-month Brent unfold hit a excessive of $2.54 on Monday, its widest since January final yr.

OCBC economist Howie Lee mentioned the world’s high exporter, Saudi Arabia, despatched a “very bullish sign” final week when it saved month-to-month crude costs to Asia unchanged regardless of expectations for small cuts.

“I don’t assume anyone dares to quick the market when Saudi is like this,” he added.

A weaker greenback in opposition to most currencies on Monday additionally supported commodities, with dollar-denominated property turning into extra inexpensive to holders of different currencies.

Buyers are additionally protecting an in depth watch on a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 assist package deal for the US that’s anticipated to be handed by lawmakers as quickly as this month.

And hopes that Iranian oil exports would quickly return to the market have been dampened, additional supporting oil costs.

President Joe Biden mentioned the US wouldn’t carry sanctions on Iran merely to get it again to the negotiating desk, whereas Iran’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mentioned all sanctions ought to be lifted first.

Stronger crude costs are in the meantime encouraging US producers to extend output.

The US oil rig depend, an early indicator of future output, rose final week to its highest since Might, based on power companies agency Baker Hughes Co.

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