Oil hits US$70 as China offers soothing words on trade

Reuters: Oil prices rise on hopes US trade spat with China may ease

Oil Prices Rise By Two Percent

June Brent crude, the global benchmark, climbed $2.39, or 3.5% to settle at $71.04 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Oil prices on Wednesday eased away from 2014 highs reached the previous session as escalating Middle East tensions were offset by increasing inventories and production in the United States. Tracking the most-active futures contracts, the global benchmark marked its highest finish since December 1, 2014.

Crude oil prices enjoy their strongest two-day rally in almost a month, as optimism surges among investors that the trade dispute between the USA and China may be resolved without greater damage to the global economy.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery rose 2.09 USA dollars to settle at 65.51 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery added 2.39 dollar to close at 71.04 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

As the leading crude oil importer and the world's biggest energy consumer, China acts as a major determiner of global oil prices. Shanghai trading will resume on Monday.

The president met with military officials in the White House Monday to discuss the administration's response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad 's government against its own people.

Meanwhile, news that Saudi Arabia is aiming for an $80 oil price offered further support, according to Flynn.

Oil markets have been supported by healthy demand and supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"The Saudis are fully committed to getting oil to $80 a barrel". While it may be tough to finger one specific catalyst, the weaker dollar, followed by geopolitical unrest over Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Syria, N Korea, and of course China, are likely culminating in somewhat of a ideal storm, helping to lift oil prices.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released today, amid forecasts for an oil-stock gain of around 0.2 million barrels.

Looking at United States crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (April 4) showed falling crude oil stocks and falling refined product inventories. It also forecast average retail gasoline prices of $2.74 a gallon for the summer driving season, up from $2.41 for the summer of 2017. Only Russia pumps more crude, at nearly 11 million bpd.

Latest News