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Futures Movers: U.S. oil rises for 6th straight session, set for weekly, monthly gains after posting highest settlement since 2018

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Oil futures were headed higher for a sixth straight session Friday, with the commodity set to show gains for the week and month of May.

Friday’s advance was supported by optimism around the economic recovery from COVID, which is expected to buttress demand, and the view that closely watched nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran won’t soon result in a flood of crude supply onto markets, weighing down prices.

Hope that other parts of the globe are recovering from the pandemic, despite the spread of COVID-19 variants, has also helped bolstered buying in crude.

“The global economic recovery outlook is still mostly upbeat despite the spread of the Indian COVID-19 variant,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a daily report.

“The UK  is expected to fully reopen on June 21st and optimism is growing,” in that region, he wrote.

Against that backdrop, West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery 
CLN21,
+0.48%

CL00,
+0.48%

was trading up 39 cents, or 0.6%, at $67.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after prices on Thursday rose 1% and hit highs not seen since Oct. 29, 2018, helping to stretch the U.S. contract’s streak of gains into a fifth-straight session.

The front-month July Brent crude
BRNN21,
+0.46%

was 39 cents, or 0.4%, higher at $69.50 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, following a nearly 1% gain for the global benchmark contract that took it to the highest front-month finish since May 17 of this year.

The most active August Brent contract
BRNQ21,
+0.40%

was 31 cents, o r 0.5%, higher at $69.51 a barrel, following a 0.7% gain on Thursday. The August contract will become the front month after the conclusion of Friday’s session.

Both WTI and Brent were on track for their longest daily streak of gains, six consecutive sessions, since early February, according to Dow Jones Market data.

For the week, WTI was on track for a weekly gain of 5.8%, and rise in May of 5.8%, based on the most-active contract. Brent was on track for a weekly advance of 4.7% and month-to-date climb of 4.2%.

The gains for oil come even amid a growing assumption that OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, will move forward with plans to ease output curbs that have been in place for a number of years at a meeting on Tuesday.

Commodity experts expect that OPEC+ will adjust its plans to ease output limits based on expected Iranian production, with negotiations between Washington and Tehran under way since April.

Meanwhile, the recovery in the U.S. from COVID is giving way to rising demand for crude and its byproducts, analysts say.

Data from the Energy Information Administration released Wednesday showed weekly declines for domestic crude, gasoline and distillate supplies.

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