Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Oil prices continue to rise

Oil prices continue to rise

WTI futures were up 1.04 percent to $62.32 per barrel, while Brent crude futures were down 0.30 percent to $65.47 per barrel. MCX Crude oil futures ended up 0.82% at Rs 3940 per barrel in last session.

Monday's U.S. holiday for Presidents Day also supported WTI's performance compared with Brent as the USA markets caught up with Monday's gains, said Carsten Fritsch, oil analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, Germany.

"Market bulls are hopeful that narrowing price premium of Brent over WTI crude will last, which in turn could reduce U.S. supplies coming into Europe and Asia", said Abhishek Kumar, Senior Energy Analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.

The US dollar index which measures the greenback's strength against six other major rival currencies climbed 0.5 percent to $89.56.

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"Traders are extending last week's rally on the view that Russian Federation and Opec will maintain production ceilings this year even if inventories decline and the price rises further", said Ric Spooner, an analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. According to OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, the global oil demand in 2018 is expected to grow by 1.6 million barrels per day thanks to the "encouraging environment".

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is reducing output by about 1.2 million barrels per day as part of its deal with Russian Federation and other non-OPEC producers.

So far this year North American gold investors have the led the charge with funds adding 21.5 tonnes worth $940m during the month or three-quarters of the global total.

"OPEC and Russian Federation continue to support the production cuts that are due to expire at the end of this year, and they assure markets that there will be an orderly ramp-up of production once the cuts expire", said William O'Loughlin, analyst at Rivkin Securities. On top of this figure, the nation is set to start up production in a new large-scale oil field by the end of the year, their first in half a decade. "Though the market likes OPEC and its allies' show of unity, we still need to see how USA shale companies will react on higher prices and eventually offset all the efforts of OPEC and others to reduce inventories".

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Ironically, this is all happening at the same time that the Nigerian government has pledged to participate in a global pact lead by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to restrict oil supply.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to state its forecast regarding the USA crude supply on Wednesday.

Gold prices rose further last Thursday, supported by a weaker dollar as investors bought the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation after a faster-than-expected rise in United States consumer prices last month.

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