WTI crude oil prices settled higher Thursday as traders continued to cheer a bullish U.S. petroleum report from a day earlier and signs of tightening global crude supplies amid falling Iranian exports. Crude oil prices remained on track to post a monthly gain as a sharp drop in U.S. inventories and disruptions to Iranian crude exports has renewed investor bets on a possible shortage in global oil supplies, which would support oil prices. Iran's oil exports are expected to drop from 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in June to just 1.5 million bpd in September, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. Click Read More below for additional information.
Oil futures ended lower on Monday, giving up earlier gains that followed apparent attacks on Saudi crude tankers, as steep declines in the U.S. stock market fed an aversion to so-called riskier assets, which include oil.
“It was impressive to have increases [in oil prices] when equities were down more than 2%, so the macroeconoomic downdrafts have caught up with the geopolitical updrafts,” Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, told MarketWatch. “All things being equal, oil should head higher, but it can’t appreciate in value if we get a stock market meltdown.”
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery fell 62 cents, or 1%, to settle at $61.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading as high as $63.33 earlier in the session. The settlement was the lowest for a front-month contract since March 29, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Global benchmark July Brent crude lost 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $70.23 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe after tapping a high of $72.58. The loss snapped a three-session winning streak.