Oil prices climb to a nine-month high after attracting investments

PHOTO FILE: An oil tanker loads crude oil at a crude oil plant in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China July 4, 2018. REUTERS / Stringer / Photo File

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil climbed to a nine-month high Thursday after government data showed a fall in U.S. crude stock records last week, while progress toward a U.S. fiscal stimulus contract and strong demand Asian also raises prices.

The U.S. dollar also set a 2-1 / 2-year low against key rivals Thursday. Oil prices usually rise when the dollar falls as the price of crude in the green becomes cheaper for buyers who have other currencies.

Brent crude futures rose 72 cents, or 1.4%, to $ 51.80 a barrel at 0744 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 71 cents, or 1.5%, to $ 48.53 a barrel. Both criteria met at their highest level since early March.

“All the headlines have been bullish for oil prices,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

“The U.S. stockpile pulled more than expected, three Indian refineries are operating at almost 100% capacity, indicating that crude demand remains strong, and the U.S. is likely to continue to ‘deliver more monetary and fiscal stimulus, lowering most goods. “

U.S. crude investments fell 3.1 million barrels a week to Dec. 11, the Energy Information Administration said, more than analysts expected from a 1.9-million-barrel fall.

Also raising oil prices, U.S. lawmakers moved closer to an agreement on a $ 900 billion virus relief spending package Wednesday with top Democrats and Republicans feeling more optimistic than they were months ago about do something.

The United States on Thursday expanded its campaign to deliver COVID-19 vaccine shots into the arms of doctors and nurses in the face of a pandemic that killed more than 2,500 Americans every day this week.

“The last full trading week of the year has been very bullish for crude prices as energy traders focus more on the light at the end of the COVID tunnel and as Asian demand remains strong,” said Moya.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Edited by Richard Pullin and Tom Hogue