Oil Climbs `Green Shoots' to Longest Run of Gains Since 2017
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. crude capped its longest winning streak in almost 18 months as global supplies strained and positive U.S. economic indicators bolstered the demand outlook.
Amid a mixed economic outlook, investors are “excited about any green shoots,” said Said Haidar, chief investment officer of macro hedge fund firm Haidar Capital Management in New York. “The market is extrapolating that we hit bottom earlier than expected. That’s bolstering all sorts of risk assets, including oil.”
Friday’s optimism was enough for traders to shrug off the biggest jump in American drilling activity since May 2018.
West Texas Intermediate crude has climbed almost 40 percent this year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies trimmed production to prevent a glut. Escalating tensions in Libya and Venezuela have also supported prices, with worries about economic growth and booming U.S. shale output providing the only checks on the rally.
WTI for May delivery advanced 98 cents to settle at $63.08 a barrel. The five-week advance was the longest since November 2017.
Brent for June settlement gained 94 cents to $70.34 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of $7.19 to WTI for the same month.
Traders are focused on “OPEC confirmation that they will continue to be disciplined. We are looking at potentially less output from shale, a mess in Venezuela and now there is risk in Libya,” said Bart Melek, head commodity strategist at Toronto Dominion Bank. “We’ve seen people get a lot more happy about going long in this environment.”
Prices have also been lifted this week by signs that the U.S. and China are on track to resolve the trade dispute that threatens oil demand. U.S. President Donald Trump said while any trade deal with China was probably still weeks away, both sides were making progress on an accord that could be “very monumental.”
|Other oil-market news:|
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.