Markets

Oil prices hit $75 as Saudi seeks hike

Oil prices hit $75 as Saudi seeks hike

Since the start of the supply cuts, crude inventories have gradually declined from record levels towards long-term average levels.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were pointing to a steady start in NY later.

Analysts see this as Saudi Arabia signalling that it is comfortable with the rally and will not take efforts to slow it, though it is also seen as unlikely to take additional measures beyond the existing supply curbs.

Brent's settlement marked its best close since November 26, 2014, the day before OPEC refused to move to stop a decline in oil prices, sparking a sharp sell-off that ultimately sent oil prices to 12-year lows, CNBC reported. According to analysts, OPEC (Saudi Arabia) and Russian Federation look determined to continue with the cuts at least until their official expiry date at the end of 2018, despite the fact that their official target-bring OECD oil stocks down to their five-year average-could be achieved any moment now.

OPEC is closing in on the original target of the pact - reducing industrialized nations' oil inventories to their five-year average.

Also supporting prices is an expectation that the United States will re-introduce sanctions against OPEC-member Iran, which could result in further supply reductions from the Middle East.

"It would be foolish to go against the trend at the moment given how bullish the market has turned", said Warren Patterson, commodities strategist at ING Groep. Even the usual OPEC/Russia chatter of "gradual exit" from the cuts once they expire at end-2018 has not been heard on the market for a couple of months. "What will be interesting is if they do readjust their target, in terms of changing from a five-year average".

Today, a leaked OPEC/NOPEC report suggested that the lingering overhang was even smaller-at 12 million barrels above the five-year average. The contract rose $1.90/Bbl, or 2.7%, to end the session at $73.48/Bbl.

WTI is traded at $69.18.

Futures for September delivery climbed 2.5% to 440.6 yuan/bbl on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent, as did futures for the FTSE.

U.S. commercial crude inventories dropped by 1.1 MMBbl during the week ended April 13, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The EIA data also had another surprise. Aluminum prices reached their highest since 2011, alumina touched an all-time peak and nickel jumped the most in 6-1/2 years. Global markets for equities, currencies and metals have all been whipsawed by the uncertainty over what President Donald Trump's next geopolitical move would be.


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