Crude Oil Market Surges on Positive China, US Demand Hopes

May 18, 2024
crude oil market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The crude oil market settled higher by about 1 per cent on Friday after economic indicators from the world’s top two oil consumers, China and the United States, bolstered hopes for higher demand.

The price of Brent went up by 71 cents or 0.9 per cent yesterday to $83.98 a barrel and the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 83 cents or 1.1 per cent to close at $80.06 per barrel.

For the week, Brent gained about 1 per cent while WTI rose by 2 per cent.

China’s industrial output rose by 6.7 per cent year-on-year in April as a recovery in its manufacturing sector gathered pace, pointing to possibly stronger demand to come.

China also announced major steps to stabilise its crisis-hit property sector.

According to market analysts, the Chinese figures showed potential for demand construction and supported oil prices, but noted that government data showed a drop in China’s annual refined output may have offset that support.

This occurred as US economic indicators have fed into the optimism over global demand for oil.

During the week, US consumer prices rose less than expected in April, data and boosted expectations of lower interest rates.

Lower US interest rates could help soften the Dollar, which would make greenback-denominated oil cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

On the supply side, investors were mostly looking for direction from the upcoming meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, OPEC+ on June 1.

Analysts added that with the price of Brent crude hovering below $90, the upcoming OPEC+ meeting is likely to result in a rollover of current production cuts.

The energy services firm Baker Hughes noted that US oil rig count rose by one this week to 497, the first increase in four weeks.

Meanwhile, a fire was reported at Russia’s Tuapse oil refinery overnight after a wave of Ukrainian drone attacks.

The extent of the damage was unclear, but both countries in recent weeks have intensified attacks on energy infrastructure.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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