SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices firmed on Thursday, with Brent crude creeping ever closer to $80 per barrel, a level it has not seen since November 2014, as supplies tighten while demand remains strong.
Brent crude futures were at $79.36 per barrel at 0451 GMT, up 8 cents from their last close.
US - West - Texas - Intermediate - WTI
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.71 a barrel, up 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last settlement.
ANZ bank said on Thursday that Brent was “now threatening to break through $80 per barrel … (as) geopolitical risks continue to support prices, (and) an unexpected fall in inventories in the U.S. got investors excited yesterday.”
US - Crude - Inventories - Barrels - Week
U.S. crude inventories dropped by 1.4 million barrels in the week to May 11, to 432.34 million barrels.
ANZ said the falling U.S. inventories were “raising concerns of tight markets heading into the U.S. driving season,” during which demand typically rises.
Changes - US - Bank - Morgan - Stanley
Looking beyond seasonal changes, U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said it had raised its Brent price forecast to $90 per barrel by 2020, due to a steady increase in demand.
Indicators - Tighter - Market
Not all indicators pointed to a tighter market, however.
“A weakening dollar, strong economic growth and low oil price have all supported a tremendous recovery in oil demand over the last few years, clearing the oversupply in the market. With the dollar...
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