Oil Prices Retake $70 A Barrel

Oil Prices Retake $70 A Barrel

Oil Prices Retake $70 A Barrel

Global benchmark Brent futures were at $70.67 per barrel at 0022 GMT on Monday, up 33 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed 54 cents to $62.64 a barrel, having hit their highest since November 7 on Wednesday at $62.99.

On Friday multiple sources quoted President Trump as saying that the US has found agreement on some of the toughest points in trade talks with China. WTI was headed for its fifth consecutive weekly rise. Prices have been underpinned by tightening global supplies and signs of demand picking up.

In Venezuela, despite all the blackouts and US pressures, the country was able to maintain relatively steady crude exports in March by drawing from storage, and this pattern could continue for few more months.

"This data is going to be enough to keep us above the $60 level for a least a couple of weeks", said Josh Graves, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. However, with the situation worsening in Libya and Venezuela, US crude oil active futures might find support near their 200-day moving average at $61.66.

On Thursday, Eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops to march on Tripoli, escalating a conflict with the internationally recognized government.

Fundamentally, the market will continue to be underpinned by the OPEC-led supply cuts and USA sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

Venezuela depends on the upgraders, which are mostly operated by joint ventures with foreign companies, to convert the extra-heavy crude oil produced in the Orinoco Belt into exportable grades usable in overseas refineries.

The increase in the number of USA oil rigs is yet another factor that the traders should be monitoring closely, since this week, the US energy companies added 15 new rigs for first time in seven weeks. [RIG/U] Companies added 15 oil rigs in the week to April 5.

As a result, U.S. crude oil stockpiles soared last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Lingering concerns over U.S. Profit booking might be behind the fall in oil prices.

After Texas pushed the United States over the last decade to become the world's biggest oil producer previous year, the heart of the shale revolution is starting to show fatigue. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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