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Why Oil Prices Just Rallied To $70
11 April 2018, 12:39 | Gordon Grant
Why Oil Prices Just Rallied To $70
Oil prices fell about 2% on Friday after US President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China, reigniting the fear of a trade war between the world's two largest economies that could hurt global growth.
Brent, the global benchmark, gained $1.35, or 2%, to $70.00 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.34 a barrel at 3.55am GMT, up 28c, or 0.45%, from their previous settlement.
Despite a softening of trade concerns, oil markets still face an abundance of supplies that puts pressure on producers to keep their prices competitive in order not to lose market share.
Oil prices rallied more than two per cent on Monday after declining by about the same amount on Friday.
"Oil prices have been susceptible to the brewing trade tensions between China and the U.S....."
USA crude inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week to April 6 to 429.1 million, according to a report by the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 189,000 barrels.
Concerns of a prolonged trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies and uncertainty over the supply and demand balance of global oil markets have resulted in volatile yet range-bound recent trading.
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The American Petroleum Institute will publish storage data later on Tuesday while official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due on Wednesday.
A trade dispute between the US and China could lead to slower economic growth that would limit oil demand.
Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming USA shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC's effort to end a supply glut. "However, oil market fundamentals are tightening and oil prices looks set to be squeezed higher as long as OPEC+ sticks to its cuts".
However, soaring USA crude production, which has jumped by a quarter since mid-2016, threatens to undermine Opec's efforts.
The United States late past year overtook top exporter Saudi Arabia as the world's second biggest crude producer.
That will likely make the United States the world's biggest oil producer by 2019, surpassing Russian Federation which now pumps out nearly 11 million bpd.
Oil prices overall remain optimistic due to strong demand, as well as the supply curb by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation.
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