Crude prices soar on decline in United States inventories

Brent Crude

Daily June Brent Crude

Oil surged to summits last seen in November 2014, with London Brent striking $74.74 per barrel and NY crude touching $69.56.

The surge came on a Reuters report that OPEC's new price hawk Saudi Arabia would be happy for crude to rise to $80 or even $100, a sign Riyadh will seek no changes to a supply-cutting deal even though the agreement's original target is now within sight.

Brent crude oil futures rose $1.52, or 2.1 percent, to $73.10 a barrel by 10:50 a.m. ET (1450 GMT), taking out last week's three-year high of $73.09.

West Texas Intermediate rose about 1% to $69.56 at session highs around 7 a.m. ET.

An Energy Information Administration report showed shrinking American petroleum surpluses and the first crude withdrawal from the largest USA storage complex in six weeks.

Stockpiles of gasoline also dropped by 3 million barrels, while distillate fuels including diesel declined by 3.1 million barrels.

Led by Saudi Arabia, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a group of other producers that includes Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to rein in oversupply that had depressed prices since 2014.

Resource stocks were on a roll in Asia on Thursday as oil prices hit heights not seen since late 2014 and ignited a rally across commodities, though the potential boost to inflation globally also put some pressure on fixed-income assets.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia pushed for prices of Dollars 80 to USD 100 per barrel by continuing to withhold supplies also caused the oil price rally. Global markets for equities, currencies and metals have all been whipsawed by the uncertainty over what President Donald Trump's next geopolitical move would be.

To be sure, OPEC and Saudi Arabia have no official price target and say the objective of the production cut is to balance supply and demand, and reduce the inventory glut.

OPEC and delegations from other major oil producing countries will meet in Jeddah April 20.

"Current oil prices are not justified by underlying oil fundamentals", they said.

Gasoline inventories also fell by 3 million barrels last week, according to the data.

The impression is that oil prices are seen as not yet high enough to encourage sufficient oil investment. OPEC wants to lure more producers to join the output-reduction deal, U.A.E. Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

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