Oil highs for nearly a month as demand outlook improves

London — Oil prices fell on Thursday, but remained high for nearly a month, with more positive demand forecasts from the International Energy Agency and OPEC as major economies recovered from the pandemic.

Brent crude fell 25 cents (0.4%) by 09:45 GMT to $ 66.33 a barrel. This was after reaching the highest since March 18th at $ 66.94.

US West Texas intermediate futures fell 30 cents (0.5%) to $ 62.85 a barrel and previously rose to $ 63.48. This is also the highest since March 18th.

Both contracts rose about 5 percent on Wednesday.

Commerzbank said, “Support comes from many dimensions. For one thing, the macro environment remains good in terms of economic outlook, high risk aspirations among investors, and the depreciation of the US dollar.” Said.

The IEA and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have revised their forecasts for global oil demand growth this week to 5.7 million barrels (bpd) and 5.95 million barrels per day, respectively.

Prices also found support from a sharp drop in US inventories.

US crude oil inventories fell 5.9 million barrels last week, with East Coast crude oil inventories hitting record lows, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

“With the surge in refinery operations in the coming months, we’ll see a solid inventory pull, even after considering the bearish risk,” said an analyst at Citi Research.

Gasoline supplied to the market last week, according to the EIA, is an indicator of US fuel consumption, rising to 8.9 million barrels / day, the highest since August.

Goldman Sachs analysts said in a report that supply discipline and the rebound economy were set to give oil a chance to go beyond its recent reach.

“Brent crude is forecast to be $ 80 / barrel in the third quarter of 2009 due to short-term supply recovery and supply discipline,” he said.

By Ahmad Ghaddar