Oil prices hit a nine-month high after attracting investments

SINGAPORE / LONDON (Reuters) – 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: Pump jackets work at sunset in an oil field in Midland, Texas USA August 22, 2018. REUTERS / Nick Oxford / File Photo

The U.S. dollar set a low 2-1 / 2 level against major rivals on Thursday that oil also helped as the price of crude in the green becomes cheaper for buyers with other currencies.

Brent crude futures went up 22 cents at $ 51.30 per barrel before 1110 GMT, after trading as high as $ 51.90.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude times rose 28 cents to $ 48.10 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 expanded its campaign Thursday 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 Tom Hogue, Susan Fenton and Elaine Hardcastle