© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in oilfield in Midland
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices extended their gains on Thursday after rising 1% in the previous session, as bullish forecasts for demand picking up this summer offset fears of an increase in COVID cases- 19 in India, Japan and Brazil.
Brent for June edged up 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $ 67.35 a barrel at 0104 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude for June was $ 63.98 a barrel, up 12 cents, or 0.2%.
OPEC, Russia and their allies, a group known as OPEC +, maintained their plans to gradually ease oil production restrictions from May to July, after OPEC raised growth slightly. of its demand for 2021 to 6 million barrels per day. The group also expects global stocks to hit 2.95 billion barrels in July, which will bring them below the 2015-2019 average.
“A closer look at the state of global oil stocks suggests that the market may be closer to the point of rebalancing than OPEC + might think,” Citi analysts said, adding that most of the overhang of crude stocks was absorbed by the market although refined. stocks of products have yet to be developed.
The bank also expects vaccination campaigns in North America and Europe to propel oil demand to an all-time high of 101.5 million bpd this summer, despite rising COVID- cases. 19 in India and Brazil could affect local demand if deeper lockdowns are reimposed.
Investors focused on ramping up operating rates at US refineries and lowering distillate inventories last week, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
inventories rose 90,000 barrels last week, far less than analysts’ forecast for a 659,000 barrels build.
In the UK, loadings from the UK North Sea flow, which underpin the Brent futures contract, would stop in mid-May if no deal is reached between union Unite and the Shetland Islands Council that employs them.
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