Oil prices surge over 10% amid early signs of U.S. fuel demand recovery

Oil prices jumped on Thursday, extending steep gains in the previous session on signs the U.S. crude glut is not growing as quickly as expected and that gasoline demand battered by COVID-19 restrictions is starting to pick up, Reuters reported.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 climbed to a high of $17.35 a barrel and were up 14.3%, or $2.15, at $17.21 at 0350 GMT. The U.S. benchmark surged 22% on Wednesday.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 10.3%, or $2.33 to $24.87 a barrel in light trading, with the June contract expiring on Thursday. The contract hit a high of $24.91 earlier in the session, having posted a 10% gain on Wednesday.

The most active Brent crude contract for July LCOc2 was up $2.10 or 8.7%, at $26.33 a barrel.

U.S. oil plunged into minus territory last week as the May contract was expiring, but analysts said the market, while still volatile, appears to have found a floor.

U.S. President Donald Trump said his administration will soon release a plan to help the country’s oil companies, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said could include adding millions of barrels of oil to already-teeming national reserves.

Private storage in U.S. is approaching full capacity and the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve hold only 78 million barrels of spare capacity.


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