Oil extends gain above US$62 as U.S. crude stockpiles seen falling – Business News


HONG KONG: Oil extended gains above US$62 a barrel before U.S. government data forecast to show crude stockpiles declined for an eighth week and as political tensions simmer in Iran, OPEC’s third-biggest producer.

Futures added as much as 1.3% in New York to the highest intraday level in more than three years. U.S. inventories probably fell by 3.75 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Monday the anger that led to a week of anti-government protests exposed the need for the freedoms he has championed, as well as a stronger economy.

Oil had its best start to a year in five years as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies continue supply cuts to drain a global glut. U.S. drilling has continued to slow, with explorers trimming the number of rigs targeting crude last week by the most since November.

“OPEC supply cuts are continuing and there are some concerns around Iran providing some strength to oil,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney. “Rigs counts are declining but healthy shale output should keep a ceiling on the price.”

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery gained as much as 83 cents to US$62.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest intraday price since May 2015, and traded at US$62.16 at 2:59 p.m. in Hong Kong. Total volume traded was about 64% above the 100-day average. Prices climbed 29 cents to US$61.73 on Monday after rising 1.7% last week, the best start to a year since 2013.

Brent for March settlement gained as much as 51 cents, or 0.8%, to US$68.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after adding 0.2% on Monday. 
The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of US$6 to March WTI. – Bloomberg

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