Oil Price: Brent Hits Above $50
Oil prices climbed nearly 3% on Thursday, with Brent surging above $50 a barrel for the first time since early March, fueled by hopes of a faster demand recovery as countries start to roll out COVID-19 vaccines. The bullish sentiment offset a large increase in U.S. crude inventories that showed there was still ample supply available.
Britain began vaccinations this week and the United States could start inoculations as soon as this weekend. Canada on Wednesday approved its first vaccine and said initial shots would be delivered starting next week. Brent crude rose $1.39, or 2.8%, to settle at $50.25 a barrel, gaining for a third day. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.26, or 2.8%, to settle at $46.78 a barrel.
Both benchmarks reached their highest levels since March, with the contracts posting session highs of $51.06 a barrel and $47.74 a barrel, respectively. However, their relative strength indexes showed both had moved into overbought territory. Investors shrugged off Wednesday’s weekly report on U.S. oil inventories that showed a massive 15.2 million-barrel rise in crude stocks. Analysts had expected a 1.4 million-barrel drop. [EIA/S]
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