Oil prices climb on world markets

Oil prices rose on Friday, tracking towards a 4.5% gain for the week on signs some industries have begun switching fuel from high-priced gas to oil and on doubts the U.S. government would release oil from its strategic reserves for now, Reuters reports. 

"A lot of catalysts are out there to keep the oil market tight," said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA, pointing to signs of improved fuel demand as economic activity rebounds and coronavirus restrictions ease as well as fears that a cold winter will further strain gas supplies.

Expectations are high "that nothing in the immediate future will change the significant supply/demand deficit that is in place", said Moya.

Brent crude futures jumped 93 cents, or 1.1%, to $82.88 a barrel by 0503 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed by $1.02, or 1.3%, to $79.32 a barrel.

Earlier in the week, WTI touched a near seven-year high of $79.78 while Brent hit a three-year high of $83.47.

"Oil prices lifted after the U.S Energy Department said it has no plan 'at this time' to tap into U.S. strategic oil reserves to cool the rally in oil prices," Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.

However, a U.S. Department of Energy source told Reuters that a social media post by a Bloomberg reporter that said the department was not considering tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) "at this time" was not accurate, while adding that all "tools are always on the table" to tackle tight energy supply.


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