Petroleum Futures Settle Higher Again

By | January 4, 2019

Petroleum prices ended sharply higher on Friday, extending gains to a fifth successive session, after stronger than anticipated U.S. jobs data and an encouraging report on Chinese services sector activity reduced issues about global development and energy demand potential customers.

Hopes that output decreases by major oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia would assist alleviate concerns about excess supply in the market contributed as well to oil’s uptick.

Oil output from OPEC fell by 530,000 barrels a day to 32.6 million a day last month, a Reuters survey found, marking the sharpest pullback given that January 2017 as leading exporter Saudi Arabia throttled back production.

Meanwhile, information released by the Energy Details Administration today revealed crude stocks in the U.S. rose by 7,000 barrels in the week to December 28, beating expectations for a drop of more than 3 million barrels.

Distillate stockpiles were up by 9.5 million barrels recently, the greatest weekly dive in two years. Gasoline stocks rose by 6.9 million barrels, more than thrice the predicted boost.

American Petroleum Institute reported the other day that U.S. crude stocks fell by 4.5 million barrels throughout the week ended December 28.

Crude oil futures for February wound up $0.87, or 1.9%, at $47.96 a barrel, extending gains to a 5th successive session.

On Thursday, crude oil futures wound up $0.55, or 1.2%, at $47.09 a barrel. For the week, oil futures gained about 5.8%, the best weekly returns in about 17 months.

China’s commerce ministry stated that China and the United States would hold vice ministerial level trade talks in Beijing on January 7-8 in a bid to defuse trade stress.

Information released by Markit said growth in China’s services sector edged greater in December. The Caixin/Markit services PMI rose to a six-month high of 53.9 in December from 53.8 in November.

The Labor Department’s report showed a much stronger than expected job development in the U.S. in the month of December. The report said non-farm payroll work skyrocketed by 312,000 tasks in December after climbing by an upwardly modified 176,000 tasks in November.

Economists had anticipated work to increase by about 177,000 jobs compared to the addition of 155,000 tasks originally reported for the previous month.

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