Oil prices hit a nine-month high after attracting investments

SINGAPORE / LONDON (Reuters) -Oil oil climbed to a nine-month high on 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 Asian demand is also raising prices.

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

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 went up 14 cents at $ 51.22 per barrel before 1110 GMT, after trading as high as $ 51.90.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude times rose 20 cents to $ 48.02 a barrel, after trading as high as $ 48.59. 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, far in excess of what analysts had expected from a 1.9-million-barrel fall.

Also raising oil prices, U.S. lawmakers entered closer to an agreement on a $ 900 billion virus relief spending package Wednesday.

The United States on Thursday expanded its campaign to deliver COVID-19 vaccine shots.

“Festival time seems to be a lot better than most traders would have expected. But the question of whether oil prices can stay so high and keep these benefits remains questionable amid the devastation caused by locksmiths, ”said Bjornar Tonhaugen at Rystad Energy.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Edited by Richard Pullin, Tom Hogue and Susan Fenton