Oil Rises for Six Weekly Gain

Oil Rises for Six Weekly Gain

Brent crude futures were higher 66 cents, or 0.7%, at $90 a barrel by 1225 GMT, having hit $91.04 on Thursday for their most increase since October 2014.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 57 cents, or 0.7%, to $87.18. WTI also gained a seven-year high of $88.54 earlier in the session.

Both Brent and WTI are on the path for what would be the longest run of weekly gains after October.

Supply scarcity has caused the six-month market structure for Brent into steep backwardation of $6.56 a barrel, the widest after 2013. This means that current levels are higher than those in later months, enabling traders to release oil from storage to sell it promptly.

Oil prices continue to receive approval from worries that the Ukraine crisis could disrupt energy markets. Russia has clustered troops near Ukraine’s border but says it does not plan to invade.

The risk premium on the oil price is now possible to be nearly $10/bbl, stated Commerzbank (DE: CBKG) commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch.

OPEC+ Sticking to Plans

Price gains have been pared by a resurgent U.S. dollar; it is on a path for its most significant weekly peak in seven months on anticipations of higher interest rates.

The $90/bbl level is still establishing a tough nut to crack for the European benchmark, expressed PVM analyst Stephen Brennock; he emphasized that the market is focusing on a Feb. 2 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and partners led by Russia, collectively known as OPEC+.

The OPEC+ producer group can stick with a planned upgrade in its oil output target for March. Several OPEC+ sources informed Reuters.

On the demand side, crude oil imports in China, the world’s largest commodity importer, could rebound by as much as 7% this year, analysts and oil company officials stated.

Swedish bank SEB increased its Brent crude forecast on Friday to $85 a barrel for this year’s first and second quarters, up to $10 and $5, individually.