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Crude oil futures rise 0.27% on firm global cues

Crude oil futures rise 0.27% on firm global cues

In the U.S., WTI crude climbed to $63.80/bbl after trading as high as $64.77, as domestic stockpiles posted their eighth straight week of declines, the longest stretch during winter in a decade. Some analysts, however, warn that markets might be overheating. "Oil is acting like an internet stock and when it does that you know it's getting overcooked", said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst for United-ICAP.

The Saudi government has been keen to hold up the price of oil in advance of the float, so that it can maximise the IPO price and get as much money out as it can.

Higher oil prices could boost consumer confidence in the region and ultimately result in the creation of more jobs and push workers' salaries higher.

The price Venezuela receives for its mix of medium and heavy oil during the first week of 2018 rose to its highest level since June of 2015.

The higher oil prices in a too-tight market could motivate USA shale producers to pump more than analysts now predict. OPEC and allies are aware of the fact that US production will grow, but if it grows too much, the cartel and Russian Federation could ditch the pact and start defending their market share.

Adding to bullish sentiment on Thursday, market intelligence firm Genscape estimated a draw of more than 3.5 million barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for United States crude futures for the week ended Tuesday, according to traders who saw the data.

Crude oil prices continued to advance on Wednesday, leading the commodity to reach its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2014.

WTI Crude Oil
Daily February West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $67.78 a barrel, 16 cents above their last close.

OPEC and the Russia-led alliance face a number of challenges in keeping their deal intact until the end of 2018. As of 12:54 p.m. EST (1754 GMT), the contract was trading 56 cents, or 0.8 percent, higher at $69.76. The national average retail diesel fuel price increased to 2.877 dollars per gallon, 0.026 dollar per gallon lower than last week and 0.337 dollar above a year ago.

The US currency was also given a boost on Wednesday by strong manufacturing and construction data. Because of that, EOG Resources believes it can grow oil production at a 15% annual rate through 2020 even if crude only averages $50 a barrel.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. The forecast also said that the 2019 demand figure would stand at 101.76 million bpd-an increase of 1.65 million bpd from the current year.

The end-year gains had made up for a 7.5pc fall between September's high of $1,350 an ounce and the mid-December trough below $1,250. At the same time, one should expect that when the $70 per barrel level is reached, a rebound is possible - due to the absence of any significant new events, and the threshold is significant for traders.

The nation's external reserves hit a four-year high of $40.4bn on Friday, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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