Energy Market Report – Oil

  • Market Comments January

    Tuesday 2nd January 2018 - Oil prices were at their strongest opening to a year since 2014 on Tuesday, with crude rising to mid-2015 highs amid large anti-government rallies in Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.63 a barrel at 0747 GMT, up 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, after hitting $60.74 earlier in the day, the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark, were at $67.18 a barrel, up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, after hitting a May 2015 high of $67.29 a barrel earlier in the day.

    Wednesday 3rd January 2018 - Oil prices on Wednesday curved away from the mid-2015 highs reached the previous session as high output in the United States and also Russia undermined ongoing efforts led by OPEC to tighten the market. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.34 a barrel at 0739 GMT, down 3 cents from their last close, though still not far off the price of $60.74 reached on the previous day that was the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1 - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $66.49 a barrel, down 8 cents but still not far off the price of Tuesday’s high of $67.29 that was the most since May 2015.

    Thursday 4th January 2018 - Oil prices on Thursday hit their highest in over 2-1/2 years, marking levels not seen since before a slump in commodity markets in 2014/15, boosted by tensions in key producer Iran and by ongoing OPEC-led output cuts. Brent crude futures LCOc1 - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $68.13 a barrel, up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, after hitting a May-2015 high of $68.19 shortly before. The market is clearly getting more bullish on oil as inventory levels get closer to the five-year average.

    Friday 5th January 2018 - Oil prices have fallen, dropping away from highs last seen in 2015, as soaring U.S. production undermined a 10-percent rally from lows hit in December that was driven by tightening supply and political tensions in OPEC member Iran.
    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.81 a barrel at 0750 GMT. That was 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, below their last close. WTI hit a $62.21 the previous day, which was its strongest since May, 2015.
    Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $67.88 a barrel, 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, below their last settlement. Brent hit $68.27 the day before, also the highest since May, 2015.

    Monday 8th January 2018 - Oil prices were steady on Monday, supported by a slight decline in the number of U.S. rigs drilling for new production, with crude holding just below near three-year highs reached last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.50 a barrel at 0800 GMT, 6 cents above their last settlement. Futures reached $62.21 last week, the most since May 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $67.66 a barrel, 4 cents above their last close. Brent hit $68.27 high last week, the highest since May 2015.

    Tuesday 9th January 2018 - Oil prices for the U.S. were at their highest since 2015 again on Tuesday as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $62.16 a barrel at 0751 GMT - 43 cents, or 0.7 percent, above their last settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $68.11 a barrel, 33 cents, or 0.5 percent, above their last close. Brent touched $68.27 last week, its highest since May, 2015.

    Wednesday 10th January 2018 - Prices for oil hit their highest in the U.S. since 2014 on Wednesday due to ongoing production cuts led by OPEC as well as healthy demand, although analysts cautioned that markets may be overheating. A broad global market rally, including stocks, has also been fuelling investment into crude oil futures. Earlier prices rose to as much as $63.53, the highest since Dec. 9, 2014. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.11 a barrel, 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, above their last close. Brent touched $69.29 in late Tuesday trading, the most since May 2015. Most market participants see the price high that day as an outlier and are measuring the gain as the most since Dec. 5, 2014, when prices rose to as high as $69.82.

    Thursday 11th January 2018 - Oil dropped away from three-year highs on Thursday on signs that a 13-percent rally since early December may have run its course, although a surprise drop in U.S. production and lower crude inventories offered prices some support. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.46 a barrel at 0753 GMT, 11 cents below their last settlement, though still close to a December-2014 high of $63.67 per barrel reached the previous day. Brent crude futures were at $69.05 a barrel, 15 cents below their last finish, albeit also still close to the previous day’s peak of $69.37 a barrel - the highest level since an intra-day spike in May, 2015.

    Friday 12th January 2018 - Prices for oil slipped on Friday away from December-2014 highs reached the previous day. Although analysts and traders have been warning of the risks of a downward price correction since the start of the year, they point out that overall market conditions remain strong. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.34 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last settlement. WTI the day before rose to its strongest since late 2014 at $64.77. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $68.97 a barrel, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. Brent also marked a December-2014 high the previous day, at $70.05 a barrel.

    Monday 15th January 2018 - Prices held closely below December 2014 highs on Monday, supported by production cuts by OPEC and Russia, although the market was capped by a rise in U.S. and Canadian drilling activity that points to higher future output in North America. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rose to $70 a barrel on Monday, supported by cuts led by OPEC and Russia, although they dipped back to $69.80 a barrel by 0739 GMT, down 6 cents from their last close as the rise in North American drilling weighed. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $64.35 a barrel, up 5 cents from their last settlement.

    Tuesday 16th January 2018 - Oil prices held near $70 a barrel on Tuesday, a level not seen since 2014’s dramatic market slump. Prices have been driven up by production curbs in OPEC nations, as well by strong demand thanks to healthy economic growth. Brent crude futures LCOc1 dipped 30 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $69.96 per barrel by 0748 GMT on Tuesday from the previous day’s close. But traders said Brent was well supported overall around $70 a barrel. Brent hit $70.37 a barrel on Monday, a December 2014 high, when markets were at the beginning of a three year-long slump. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $64.47 a barrel, up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last settlement. WTI hit a December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel in early trading.

    Wednesday 17th January 2018 - Oil prices surrendered increases on Wednesday as experts warned of a downward correction, but continued well maintained on the back of tightening supply and strong global demand. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.23 a barrel at 0808 GMT, up 8 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.84 a barrel.

    Thursday 18th January 2018 - Oil prices were steady on Thursday, supported by tighter inventories of crude as well as rebel threats of an attack on Nigeria’s petroleum industry, but the market was weighed down by a reported rise in U.S. fuel stocks. Brent crude futures were at $69.34 at 0753 GMT, down 4 cents from their last close. On Monday, they hit their highest since December 2014 at $70.37 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.03 a barrel, up 6 cents from their last settlement. WTI marked its highest since December 2014 at $64.89 on Tuesday.

    Friday 19th January 2018 - Oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Friday as a bounce-back in U.S. production outweighed ongoing declines in crude inventories. If Friday’s falls last, this week will see the biggest weekly price declines since October. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $68.65 a barrel at 0802 GMT, down 66 cents, or 0.95 percent, from their last close. On Monday, they hit their highest since December 2014 at $70.37. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.23 a barrel, down 72 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last settlement. WTI marked a December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel on Tuesday.

    Monday 22nd January 2018 - Oil prices ascended on Monday, pushed higher by comments from Saudi Arabia that cooperation between oil producers who are currently withholding supplies would continue beyond 2018. Strong global economic growth and a drop in U.S. drilling activity also supported crude, traders said. Brent crude futures were at $68.89 a barrel at 0315 GMT, up 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. Brent on Jan. 15 rose to $70.37, its highest since December 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.61 a barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. WTI climbed to $64.89 on Jan. 16, also its highest since December 2014.

    Tuesday 23rd January 2018 - On Tuesday oil prices were on the rise, lifted by healthy economic growth as well as the ongoing supply curtailments by a group of exporters including OPEC and Russia. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.38 a barrel at 0756 GMT, up 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close, not far off the three-year high of $70.37 reached on Jan. 15. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.93 a barrel, up 36 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement. WTI rose to its highest since December 2014 on Jan. 16 at $64.89.

    Wednesday 24th January 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Wednesday, due to an increase in U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.79 a barrel at 0749 GMT, down 17 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $64.45 a barrel, down 2 cents from their last settlement.

    Thursday 25th January 2018 - Oil prices hit $71 per barrel as the dollar sustained to weaken and crude inventories in the United States fell for a 10th straight week, amid ongoing supply cutbacks by OPEC and top producer Russia. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit a session high of $71.05 per barrel - the highest since early December 2014 - before dipping back to $70.86 by 0801 GMT. That was still up 32 cents, or 0.5 percent from the last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 climbed to $66.35 per barrel, also the highest level since early December 2014, before dipping to $66.14. That was still up 0.8 percent from the last settlement.

    Friday 26th January 2018 - Oil prices overturned earlier falls on Friday as ongoing weakness in the U.S. dollar was seen supporting fuel consumption. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $70.40 per barrel at 0756 GMT, down 3 cents from their last close, after dropping as low as $70.07 earlier in the day. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $65.52 a barrel, up 1 cent from their previous close, recovering from a session-low of $64.91 a barrel.

    Monday 29th January 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Monday as soaring North American production was seen undermining efforts led by OPEC and Russia to tighten supplies. Despite this, traders said overall market conditions continued strong due to the production cuts and healthy demand-growth. Brent crude futures LCOc1 held above $70 per barrel, but were down by 19 cents from their last close at $70.34 a barrel at 0749 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $66.19 a barrel, up 5 cents.

    Tuesday 30th January 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Tuesday for a second day as rising U.S. output and a strengthening dollar sapped demand for crude, pushing Brent below $69 a barrel for the first time in six days. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the global benchmark, had declined 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $69 a barrel by 0750 GMT, after earlier dropping to as low as $68.86. The contract for March delivery settled down $1.06, or 1.5 percent, at $69.46 a barrel on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 dropped 66 cents, or 1 percent, to $64.90 a barrel. On Monday, they fell 58 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $65.56.

    Wednesday 31st January 2018 - Oil prices dropped for a third day on Wednesday after data from an industry body showed U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected last week, while a selloff in other commodities, stocks and bonds added to investors’ bearish mood. Brent crude, LCOc1 the global benchmark, was down 22 cents, or about 0.3 percent, at $68.80 a barrel by 0735 GMT, after falling earlier to a nearly two-week low. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 were down 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $64.19, after falling to their weakest level in more than a week.

  • Market Comments February

    Thursday 1st February 2018 - Oil prices made early gains to stay little changed on Thursday as OPEC’s strong compliance with a supply reduction pact offset news that U.S. production topped 10 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in nearly half a century. London Brent crude was down 1 cent at $68.88 a barrel, after settling up 3 cents in the previous session. U.S. crude oil production in November surpassed 10 million bpd for the first time since 1970, and neared the all-time output record, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

    Friday 2nd February 2018 - Oil was rising again for a third day on Friday after a survey showed strong compliance with output cuts by OPEC and others including Russia, offsetting concerns about surging U.S. production. Brent LCOc1 futures, the global benchmark, were up 24 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $69.89 a barrel by 0635 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was up 33 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $66.13 a barrel.

    Monday 5th February 2018 - Oil prices on Monday prolonged declines from the end of last week amid a wider market sell off and a stronger dollar, with Brent crude falling to its lowest in nearly a month. Other markets dropped as investors were spooked by Friday’s payrolls report from the United States, which showed wages growing at their fastest pace in more than 8-1/2 years, fuelling inflation expectations. Brent was down 57 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $68.01 a barrel at 0716 GMT, after falling 1.5 percent on Friday. Brent’s weekly drop was 2.75 percent last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude declined 47 cents to $64.98 a barrel, after dropping 0.5 percent in the previous session. WTI fell by 1 percent during the last week.

    Tuesday 6th February 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Tuesday, extending falls from the previous session as global financial markets tumbled lower in the wake of one of the biggest intra-day falls ever registered on Wall Street. Brent crude futures were at $67.10 per barrel at 0745 GMT, down 52 cents, or 0.8 percent, from the previous close. Brent hit a session low of $66.82 a barrel earlier in the day. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.64 a barrel, down 51 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement. WTI hit a session low of $63.29 a barrel earlier on Tuesday.

    Wednesday 7th February 2018 - Oil prices increased on Wednesday, raised by a report that U.S. crude inventories dropped last week, although analysts warned that rising U.S. output and a seasonal demand fall could soon weigh on crude. Brent crude futures were at $67.44 per barrel at 0751 GMT, up 58 cents, or 0.9 percent, from the previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.88 a barrel. That was up 49 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement.

    Thursday 8th February 2018 - Oil prices reversed earlier falls on Thursday as a North Sea pipeline outage and record Chinese imports countered U.S. crude production soaring past 10 million barrels per day. Brent crude futures were at $65.51 per barrel at 0721 GMT, flat from their last close and up from a 2018-low of $65.12 a barrel reached early in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.73 a barrel.

    Friday 9th February 2018 - Oil prices fell again on Friday after Iran announced plans to increase production and U.S. crude output hit record highs, adding to concerns about a sharp rise in global supplies. The falls come amongst a rout in global share markets as inflation fears grip investors. Brent futures were down 44 cents or 0.7 percent, at $64.37 a barrel by around 0700 GMT. On Thursday, Brent fell 1.1 percent to its lowest close since Dec. 20. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 62 cents, or 1 percent, at $60.53 a barrel.

    Monday 12th February 2018 - Oil prices increased by 1 percent on Monday, recovering some of last week’s steep losses as Asian stock markets found a footing after days of chaotic trading. Brent crude futures were at $63.54 per barrel at 0728 GMT, up 75 cents, or 1.2 percent, from the previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.04 a barrel. That was up 84 cents, or 1.4 percent, from their last settlement.

    Tuesday 13th February 2018 - Oil prices climbed on Tuesday, lifted by a rebound in global stock markets that followed sharp falls last week, as well as by a weaker dollar which potentially supports more fuel consumption. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $59.60 a barrel at 0759 GMT. That was up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures were at $62.97 per barrel, up 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, from the previous close.

    Wednesday 14th February 2018 - Oil dropped on Wednesday, squeezed by lingering oversupply including rising U.S. inventories and ample physical flows, though the prospect of Saudi output dropping in March, economic growth hopes and a weaker dollar all combined to cap losses. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were at $59.06 a barrel at 0741 GMT, down 13 cents from their last settlement. WTI was trading above $65 in early February. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $62.68 per barrel, down 4 cents. Brent was above $70 a barrel earlier this month.

    Thursday 15th February 2018 - Oil prices were on the rise by around 1 percent on Thursday to extend gains from the previous session, lifted by a weak dollar and Saudi comments that it would rather see an undersupplied market than end a deal with OPEC and Russia to withhold production. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 83 cents, or 1.4 percent, from their last settlement at $61.43 a barrel at 0744 GMT, adding to a 2.4-percent gain from the day before. Brent crude futures were at $64.99 per barrel, up 63 cents, or 1 percent, extending Wednesday’s 2.6-percent climb.

    Friday 16th February 2018 - U.S. crude prolonged gains in subdued trade on Friday as the dollar slipped to a three-year low, with many Asian markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. London Brent crude LCOc1 was up 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $64.58 after settling down 3 cents. Brent is up nearly 3 percent for the week after falling more than 8 percent last week.

    Monday 19th February 2018 - Oil prices prolonged gains to hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, buoyed as Asian shares joined a global recovery in equity markets and as worries grew over tensions in the Middle East. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CLc1 was up 57 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $62.25 a barrel by 0748 GMT, after earlier gaining as much as 1.4 percent to its highest since Feb. 7. London Brent crude LCOc1 was up 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $65.22, after rising more than 3 percent last week.

    Tuesday 20th February 2018 - Oil markets were divided on Tuesday, with U.S. crude still carrying momentum from Friday’s gains due to a holiday on Monday while international Brent prices eased. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.31 a barrel at 0740 GMT, up 63 cents, or 1 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures were at $65.54 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from Monday’s close.

    Wednesday 21st February 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Wednesday, weighed down by a rebound in the U.S. dollar from three-year lows hit last week and by an expected rise in U.S. crude production. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.19 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 60 cents, or 1 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures fell 48 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last close to $64.77 per barrel.

    Thursday 22nd February 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Thursday, pulled down as a firmer dollar outweighed a report of a decrease in U.S. crude inventories. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.15 a barrel at 0748 GMT, down 53 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 48 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last close to $64.94 per barrel.

    Friday 23rd February 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Friday as investor concerns about high U.S. crude exports outweighed an unexpected drop in oil inventories in the world’s biggest fuel consumer. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.74 a barrel at 0750 GMT, down 3 cents from their last settlement. Brent crude futures were down 2 cents at $66.37 a barrel. WTI was still on track to rise about 1.7 percent for the week, and Brent was up 2.2 percent, with both contracts set for their second weekly gains after falling steeply early in the month.

    Monday 26th February 2018 - Oil prices stabilized on Monday after hitting their highest level in nearly three weeks, supported by comments from top oil exporter Saudi Arabia that it would continue to curb shipments in line with the OPEC-led effort to cut global supplies. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery was up 4 cents at $63.59 a barrel by 0804 GMT after rising 3 percent last week. London Brent crude slipped 3 cents to $67.28 a barrel, after climbing almost 4 percent last week.

    Tuesday 27th February 2018 - Oil prices on Tuesday removed earlier gains as investor concerns about rising U.S. oil output offset signs of stronger demand and faith in the ability of OPEC production curbs to curtail supply. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for April delivery CLc1 was down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $63.78 a barrel by 0753 GMT. The contract on Monday rose to its highest since Feb. 6 at $64.24. Brent crude LCOc1 in London was down 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $67.38 a barrel.

    Wednesday 28th February 2018 - Oil prices struggled to stay in optimistic territory on Wednesday after data showed industrial activity in some of the world’s major crude-consuming nations has softened. May Brent crude futures LCOv1 were up 5 cents at $66.57 a barrel by 1005 GMT, while the front-month April contract LCOc1, which expires on Wednesday, was also up 5 cents at $66.68 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 5 cents at $62.96 a barrel.

  • Market Comments March

    Thursday 1st March 2018 - Oil prices moved up on Thursday after sharp reductions in the previous two sessions, though gains were limited as some investors shied away from riskier assets amid volatile equity markets and a stronger dollar. Both global benchmark oil futures fell sharply on Wednesday after government data showed a larger-than-expected rise in U.S. crude inventories. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery was up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $61.77 a barrel by 0741 GMT. It settled the previous session down 2.2 percent. Brent crude for May delivery, the new front-month contract, was up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $64.90. The April contract expired on Wednesday, down 1.3 percent.

    Friday 2nd March 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Friday, taking declines to a fourth day as Asian share markets extended a sell-off on Wall Street after news of planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium raised fears of a trade war. President Donald Trump announced he would impose hefty tariffs on the two metals to protect U.S. producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighbouring Canada. Global benchmark Brent LCOc1 was down 2 cents at $63.81 at 0740 GMT after spending most of the session slightly higher. The contract settled down 1.4 percent on Thursday, a two-week low. Brent is set for a weekly fall of 5.2 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $60.88 after also touching a two-week low of $60.18 a day earlier.

    Monday 5th March 2018 - Oil prices rose on Monday ahead of a seminar between OPEC and U.S. shale firms in Houston, raising expectations that oil producers would discuss further how to clear a global oil surplus. International benchmark Brent crude was up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $64.56 a barrel by 0752 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 17 cents, or 0.28 percent, to $61.42 per barrel.

    Tuesday 6th March 2018 - Oil futures increased on Tuesday for a third session, supported by robust demand forecasts and as ministers from OPEC pushed the strength of its agreement to cut output to bolster prices. International benchmark Brent crude futures were at$65.67 per barrel at 0743 GMT, up 8 cents, or 0.12 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.68 a barrel, up 11 cents, or 0.18 percent.

    Wednesday 7th March 2018 - Oil prices fell on Wednesday, dragged down by declining stock markets after a key advocate for free trade in the U.S. government resigned, stoking concerns Washington will go ahead with import tariffs and risk a trade war. Rising U.S. crude oil production and increasing inventories also dragged on crude prices, traders said. Brent futures down 53 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their previous close to $65.26 per barrel at 0747 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.14 a barrel, down 46 cents, or 0.7 percent.

    Thursday 8th March 2018 - Oil prices stabilised on Thursday, maintained by healthy demand, after falling the previous day under pressure from record U.S. crude production and rising inventories. Brent crude futures were at $64.36 per barrel at 0758 GMT, up 2 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.16 a barrel, up 1 cent, or 0.02 percent. WTI also fell by more than 2 percent the previous session.

    Friday 9th March 2018 - Crude oil futures increased on Friday as Asian stock markets expanded on news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. There is due to be a meeting between the two by May and Kim Jong Un has vowed to refrain from further nuclear or missile tests. The White House said President Trump would accept the invitation at a place and time to be determined. The news lifted Asian stocks markets, and pulled crude oil futures along with them, traders said. Brent crude futures were at $63.79 per barrel at 0753 GMT, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.24 a barrel, up 12 cents, or 0.2 percent.

    Monday 12th March 2018 - Oil prices lost gains on Monday as increasing U.S. output emerged over markets, despite a stoppage in rig drilling activity. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.91 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent. Brent crude futures were at $65.38 per barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close.

    Tuesday 13th March 2018 - Oil prices descended on Tuesday, spreading losses from the previous session, as the inevitable rise in U.S. crude output weighed on markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.18 a barrel at 0747 GMT, down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures were at $64.77 per barrel, down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent.

    Wednesday 14th March 2018 - Oil prices extended reductions from the previous two days on Wednesday as soaring U.S. production outweighed strong China data that makes more imports by the world’s biggest crude buyer likely. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.65 a barrel at 0651 GMT, down 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $64.47 per barrel, down 17 cents, or 0.26 percent.

    Thursday 15th March 2018 - Oil prices fluctuated on Thursday, supported by healthy global demand but at the same time held back by an unyielding rise in U.S. production that is undermining efforts led by producer cartel OPEC to cut supplies and prop up markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up by 9 cents to $61.05 a barrel by 0742 GMT. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $64.91 per barrel, near their previous close.

    Friday 16th March 2018 - Oil prices were due to fall this week, despite a minor gain in both benchmarks on Friday, on concerns among investors about rising supply from the U.S. and elsewhere threatening to undermine efforts by OPEC and other producers to tighten the market. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures for April delivery had risen 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $61.24 a barrel by 0744 GMT, after settling up 23 cents on Thursday. WTI was set to fall 1.3 percent this week, reversing the previous week’s 1.3 percent gain. Brent crude futures trading in London climbed 6 cents to $65.18 a barrel, after settling up 23 cents. Brent was down 0.5 percent for the week.

    Monday 19th March 2018 - On Monday oil prices dropped as increased drilling in the United States pointed to more output, raising concerns about a return of oversupply. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $62.14 a barrel at 0739 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $65.99 per barrel, down 22 cents, or 0.3 percent.

    Tuesday 20th March 2018 - Oil prices were on the rise by almost 1 percent on Tuesday, lifted by a weak dollar, strains in the Middle East and concerns of a further fall in Venezuelan output. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $62.61 a barrel at 0744 GMT, up 55 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $66.53 per barrel, up 48 cents, or 0.7 percent.

    Wednesday 21st March 2018 - Oil prices moved up on Wednesday, lifted by strains in the Middle East and healthy demand, although rising U.S. output continued to weigh on markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.69 a barrel at 0744 GMT, up 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $67.56 per barrel, up 14 cents, or 0.2 percent.

    Thursday 22nd March 2018 - Oil prices gave up earlier improvements as the relentless rise in U.S. crude production threatens to weaken efforts led by producer cartel OPEC to tighten the market. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.34 per barrel at 0750 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $65.13 a barrel, down 4 cents from their previous settlement.

    Friday 23rd March 2018 - Prices for oil rose by around 1 percent on Friday, pushed up by Saudi plans for OPEC and Russian-led production curbs introduced in 2017 to be extended into 2019 to further tighten the market. The rise in oil prices defied global stock markets, which slumped on the back of worries about a trade stand-off between the United States and China. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $64.95 a barrel at 0753 GMT, up 65 cents, or 1 percent, from their previous settlement.

    Monday 26th March 2018 - Brent and WTI crude oil futures dropped on Monday as worries of a looming trade dispute between the United States and China weighed on global markets. The falls came after U.S. President Donald Trump last week signed a memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China. This weighed on crude oil futures as well. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $65.59 a barrel at 0700 GMT, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $70.23 per barrel, down 22 cents, or 0.3 percent.

    Tuesday 27th March 2018 - Oil prices were stable on Tuesday, supported by concerns that strains in the Middle East could lead to supply disruptions. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $65.63 a barrel at 0700 GMT, up 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their previous settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $70.17 per barrel, up 5 cents, or 0.1 percent.

    Wednesday 28th March 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Wednesday, with Brent falling back below $70 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate dipping below $65, dragged down by a report of increasing U.S. crude inventories that surprised many traders. U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $64.72 a barrel by 0700 GMT, down 53 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their previous settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.69 per barrel, down 42 cents, or 0.6 percent.

    Thursday 29th March 2018 - Thursday’s oil prices were on the rise as the producer cartel OPEC and other suppliers look set to continue withholding output for the rest of the year and possibly into 2019. U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $64.62 a barrel at 0354 GMT, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their previous settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.81 per barrel, up 28 cents, or 0.4 percent.

  • Market Comments April

    Tuesday 3rd April 2018 - Oil prices ticked higher after falling more than 3.7 percent on Monday although rising Russian output and the escalating U.S.-China trade dispute still weighed. Brent crude LCOc1 rose 16 cents to $67.80 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 gained 14 cents to $63.15.

    Wednesday 4th April 2018 - Oil prices slipped with Brent crude futures off 75 cents to $67.38 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell 73 cents to $62.78 a barrel. China, the world’s largest importer of raw materials, lashed back at the Trump administration’s plan to levy tariffs on $50 billion of its goods, announcing a list of duties on U.S. imports including soybeans, planes, cars, whiskey and chemicals. Oil had already been under pressure ahead of a possible rise in U.S. inventories, with the Energy Information Administration (EIA) due to report weekly stock levels later on Wednesday.

    Thursday 5th April 2018 - Oil prices increased on Thursday, maintained by the U.S. government data showing a surprise drawdown in crude stockpiles and an easing of tensions over a trade row between the United States and China. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery CLc1 was up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $63.57 a barrel by 0646 GMT after settling down 14 cents. Front-month London Brent crude LCOc1 for June delivery was up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $68.29, having ended down 10 cents.

    Friday 6th April 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of new tariffs on China reignited fears of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. President Trump said on Thursday he had ordered U.S. trade officials to consider tariffs on $100 billion more of imports from China, escalating tensions with Beijing. Brent crude LCOc1 for June delivery was down 45 cents, or 0.66 percent, at $67.88 per barrel at 0645 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery CLc1 was down 41 cents, or 0.65 percent, at 63.13 a barrel.

    Monday 9th April 2018 - Oil markets steadied on Monday after falling around 2 percent last Friday on concerns over an intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China, as well as increased U.S. drilling activity. U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $62.31 a barrel at 0643 GMT, up 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their previous settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $67.42 per barrel, up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent.

    Tuesday 10th April 2018 - Oil markets increased for a second day on Tuesday, with Brent rising above $69 per barrel on hopes a trade disagreement between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest crude consumers, may be resolved without greater damage to the global economy. Yet prices remain within recent ranges as oil markets still face an abundance of supply that puts pressure on producers to keep their prices competitive in order not to lose market share. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.04 per barrel at 0523 GMT, up 39 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were at $63.81 a barrel, up 39 cents, or 0.6 percent.

    Wednesday 11th April 2018 - Oil prices on Wednesday lessened from 2014 highs reached the previous session as mounting Middle East tensions were offset by growing inventories and production in the United States. Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell to $70.80 per barrel at 0702 GMT, down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. Brent surged more than 3 percent on Tuesday to hit its highest level since late 2014, at $71.34 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $65.40 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last settlement.

    Thursday 12th April 2018 - Thursdays oil markets remained tense on worries over a military escalation in Syria, although prices were some way off Wednesday’s late-2014 highs as bulging U.S. supplies weighed. A trade dispute between the United States and China also kept markets on edge. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $72.33 per barrel at 0648 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent from their last close. U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $67.20 a barrel, up 38 cents, or 0.4 percent from their last settlement.

    Friday 13th April 2018 - Oil prices crept lower on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump tempered remarks warning of an imminent missile attack on Syria, but were still set for their biggest weekly gains in more than eight months. London Brent crude LCOc1 was down 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $71.84, and is up about 7 percent for the week.

    Monday 16th April 2018 - Oil dropped more than 1 percent on Monday as markets opened following western air strikes in Syria over the weekend, while a rise in U.S. drilling for new production also dragged on prices. The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles on Saturday, targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7. Brent crude oil futures were at $71.78 per barrel at 0643 GMT, down 80 cents, or 1.10 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 68 cents, or 1.01 percent, at $66.71 a barrel.

    Tuesday 17th April 2018 - Oil prices increased on Tuesday amongst worries there could be a high risk of disruptions to supply, especially in the Middle East. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $71.75 per barrel at 0646 GMT, up 33 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $66.58 a barrel.

    Wednesday 18th April 2018 - Oil prices were on the rise on Wednesday, lifted by a reported decline in U.S. crude inventories and by the ongoing risk of supply disruptions. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.07 per barrel at 0659 GMT, up 49 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 49 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $67.01 a barrel.

    Thursday 19th April 2018 - Oil prices increased on Thursday to their highest in over three years as U.S. crude inventories declined and as top exporter Saudi Arabia pushes for higher prices by continuing to withhold supplies. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rallied as high as $74.02 a barrel, the strongest since Nov. 27, 2014, and were at $73.87 per barrel at 0645 GMT, up 39 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 added 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $68.75 a barrel. WTI had earlier scaled to $68.95, its best level since Dec. 2, 2014.

    Friday 20th April 2018 - Fridays oil prices remained near three-year highs reached earlier this week, with ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts and strong demand gradually drawing down excess supplies. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $73.74 per barrel at 0657 GMT, down 4 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 13 cents at $68.16 a barrel.

    Monday 23rd April 2018 - Oil prices fell slightly on Monday as a rising U.S. rig count suggested further increases in output, marking one of the few factors tamping back crude in an otherwise bullish environment. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $73.91 per barrel at 0630 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $68.22 a barrel.

    Tuesday 24th April 2018 - Brent crude oil increased for a sixth day on Tuesday, passing $75 a barrel, on outlooks that supplies will constrict because fuel is increasing at the same time the United States may impose sanctions against Iran and OPEC-led output cuts remain in place. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 climbed to as high as $75.20 a barrel in early trading on Tuesday, the highest since Nov. 27, 2014. Brent was still at $75 a barrel at 0311 GMT up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from its last close. Brent’s six-day rising streak is the most since a similar string of gains in December and it is up by more than 20 percent from its 2018 low in February. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last settlement. On Thursday, WTI rose to as high as $69.56, the most since Nov. 28, 2014.

    Wednesday 25th April 2018 - Oil prices on Wednesday cut down from more than three-year highs reached the previous session, as rising U.S. fuel inventories and production weighed on an otherwise bullish market. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $73.71 per barrel at 0655 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close and almost $1.8 below the November-2014 high of $75.47 a barrel reached the previous day.

    Thursday 26th April 2018 - Thursdays oil prices were on the rise, supported by expectations the United States will re-impose sanctions against Iran, a decline in output in Venezuela and ongoing strong demand. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at 74.27 per barrel at 0643 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $68.19 per barrel.

    Friday 27th April 2018 - Oil prices on Friday edged lower, but Brent largely held its gains from the previous session amid concerns that Iran may face renewed sanctions, choking off supply. Global benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $74.47 a barrel by 0644 GMT, after rising 1 percent on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 fell 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $68 a barrel. The contract gained 0.2 percent the previous session. Brent is heading for a third week of gains, up by 0.5 percent, while WTI is set to drop 0.4 percent for the week.

    Monday 30th April 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Monday after a rising rig count in the United States pointed to higher production there, but markets held near their highest in over three years and remained set for a second straight month of gains. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark, had dipped 50 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $74.14 a barrel by 0633 GMT. Prices climbed as high as $75.47 last week, levels not seen since November, 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $67.82 a barrel, down 28 cents, or about 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

  • Market Comments May

    Tuesday 1st May 2018 - Oil prices were steady on Tuesday as the dollar remained near a four-month high, with crude supported by worries that U.S. President Donald Trump may pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery CLc1 was up 2 cents at $68.59 a barrel by 0649 GMT, after settling up 47 cents on Monday. London Brent crude LCOc1 for new July delivery was up 1 cent at $74.70. The June contract expired on Monday, settling up 53 cents at $75.17.

    Wednesday 2nd May 2018 - Brent crude futures improved on Wednesday, surrendering early gains after evidence of further increases in U.S. shale supply and a rise in Iranian exports ahead of a possible renewal of U.S. sanctions on Tehran. July Brent futures LCOc1 were down 16 cents at $72.97 a barrel by 1100 GMT, after falling nearly 3 percent on Tuesday to their lowest in two weeks. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 18 cents at $67.43, off a session high of $67.85.

    Thursday 3rd May 2018 - Oil dropped on Thursday, weighed down by swelling U.S. crude inventories and record weekly U.S. production that undermined efforts by OPEC to cut supplies, although possible new U.S. sanctions against Iran kept markets on the edge. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $73.31 per barrel at 0654 GMT, down 5 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down just 1 cent at $67.92 per barrel.

    Friday 4th May 2018 - Oil prices were steady on Friday, joining after recent gains, as global supplies stayed tight and the market awaited news from Washington over possible new U.S. sanctions against Iran. Brent crude oil was down 10 cents at $73.52 a barrel by 0800 GMT. The benchmark contract hit a 2-1/2 year closing high of $75.17 on Monday. U.S. light crude was 5 cents lower at $68.38 and set for gain of 0.3 percent for the week.

    Tuesday 8th May 2018 - Oil prices withdrew from 3-1/2 year highs on Tuesday as investors waited on an announcement by President Donald Trump on whether the United States will re impose sanctions on Iran. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 had dropped 78 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $69.95 a barrel by 0550 GMT. They settled above $70 for the first time since November 2014 on Monday. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 67 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $75.50, having jumped 1.7 percent to settle at $76.17 a barrel in the previous session.

    Wednesday 9th May 2018 - Wednesday’s oil prices rose more than 2 percent, with Brent hitting a 3-1/2-year high, after U.S. President Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran and announced the “highest level” of sanctions against the OPEC member amid an already tight market. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 at one point touched their highest since November 2014 at $76.75 per barrel. They were still at $76.62 per barrel at 0653 GMT, up $1.77, or 2.4 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.51 per barrel, or 2.2 percent, at $70.57 a barrel, near highs also last seen in late 2014.

    Thursday 10th May 2018 - Oil prices increased to multi-year highs on Thursday as traders adjusted to the prospects of renewed U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran amid an already tightening market. Oil prices rose sharply in response to the broadcasted measures. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit their strongest since November 2014, at $77.89 per barrel shortly before 0700 GMT on Thursday, up 0.9 percent from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also marked a November-2014 high, at $71.84 a barrel, before edging back to $71.78 per barrel. That was-still 0.9 percent above their last settlement.

    Friday 11th May 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Friday, easing from multi-year highs in the previous session on hopes that alternative supplies could replace a pending drop in Iranian exports from U.S. sanctions. The United States plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran, which produces around 4 percent of global oil supplies, after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 that limited Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing U.S.-Europe sanctions. Brent crude futures were at $77.23 per barrel at 0705 GMT, down 24 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. Brent the previous day hit its highest since November 2014 at $78 a barrel.

    Monday 14th May 2018 - Oil prices on Monday dropped from last week’s multi-year highs as a persistent rise in U.S. drilling activity pointed to increased output, while resistance emerged in Europe and Asia to U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $76.79 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down 33 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.44 a barrel, down 26 cents, or 0.3 percent.

    Tuesday 15th May 2018 - Oil prices were steady on Tuesday as ongoing production cuts by OPEC and looming U.S. sanctions against Iran threatened to tighten the market amid signs of ongoing strong demand. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $78.21 per barrel at 0639 GMT, virtually unchanged from their last close and not far off a three-and-a-half year high of $78.53 a barrel reached the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.88 a barrel, down 8 cents, though still not far off their Nov. 2014 high of $71.89 a barrel reached last week.

    Wednesday 16th May 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Wednesday, weighed down by ample supplies in spite of ongoing output cuts by producer cartel OPEC and looming U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $78.22 per barrel at 0644 GMT, down 21 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.03 a barrel, down 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

    Thursday 17th May 2018 - Oil prices were at their highest level since November 2014 on Thursday, with Brent crude creeping ever closer to $80 per barrel as supplies tighten and demand remains strong. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.40 per barrel at 0655 GMT, up 0.12 percent from their last close. They earlier touched their highest in more than 3-1/2 years at $79.49 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.67 a barrel, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last settlement. That was not far off Tuesday’s $71.92 a barrel - also a level not seen since November 2014.

    Friday 18th May 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Friday, but Brent crude marked its sixth straight week of gains, boosted by plummeting Venezuelan production, strong global demand and looming U.S. sanctions on Iran. Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 79 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $78.51 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell 21 cents to settle at $71.28 a barrel, a 0.29 percent loss. The contract rose about 0.9 percent for the week, its third straight week of gains.

    Monday 21st May 2018 - Oil was rising on Monday, lifted by a rally across stocks and other commodities, after the United States said it had put a possible trade war with China “on hold”. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 35 cents at $78.86 a barrel at 0845 GMT, having hit a high above $80 last week, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 29 cents to $71.57 a barrel.

    Tuesday 22nd May 2018 - Oil prices were rising on Tuesday, with Brent edging closer to $80 per barrel, on concerns that Venezuela’s crude output could drop further following a disputed presidential election and potential U.S. sanctions on the OPEC-member. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.37 per barrel at 0632 GMT, up 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $72.45 a barrel, up 21 cents, or nearly 0.3 percent.

    Wednesday 23rd May 2018 - Oil prices improved on Wednesday as the possibility of higher OPEC output weighing on the market, although geopolitical risks are expected to keep prices near multi-year highs. Brent LCOc1 futures fell 37 cents, or nearly 0.5 percent, to $79.20 a barrel by 0636 GMT, after climbing 35 cents on Tuesday. Last week, the global benchmark hit $80.50 a barrel, the highest since November 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures eased 21 cents, or nearly 0.3 percent, to $71.99 a barrel, having climbed on Tuesday to $72.83, also the highest since November 2014.

    Thursday 24th May 2018 - Thursday’s oil prices dropped on expectations that OPEC members will step up production in the face of worries over supply from both Venezuela and Iran. A surprise build up in crude oil inventories in the United States also weighed on prices, driving the spread between Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) close to its widest in three years. International benchmark Brent futures were down 37 cents, or 0.46 percent, at $79.43 per barrel at 0610 GMT. WTI crude futures were down 27 cents, or 0.38 percent, at $71.57 a barrel.

    Friday 25th May 2018 - Oil prices dropped on Friday as Russia hinted it may slowly increase output, after having withheld supplies in concert with producer cartel OPEC since 2017. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $78.43 per barrel at 0657 GMT, down 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close, and 2.6 percent below the $80.50 multi-year high they reached on May 17. Brent broke through $80 for the first time in more than three years earlier in May. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.44 a barrel, down 27, or 0.4 percent, cents from their last settlement.

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