Oil rises on economic recovery hopes, weaker dollar

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imageCommodities39 minutes ago (Sep 02, 2021 17:22)

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A gas pump is seen hanging from the ceiling at a petrol station in Seoul June 27, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

By David Gaffen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, rebounding on optimism about the pace of global economic growth despite the coronavirus pandemic, as well as on a sharp decline in U.S. crude inventories.

Brent crude was up $1.78, or 2.5%, at $73.37 a barrel by 11:43 a.m. EDT (1543 GMT). West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.92, or 2.8%, to $70.51.

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, while layoffs in August dropped to their lowest level in more than 24 years, suggesting the labor market was charging ahead despite new COVID-19 infections.

“Although oil is lagging equities, its downside is clearly limited by the general confidence surrounding the global economy despite consistent fears of the prolonged spread of the coronavirus,” said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

Optimistic about the global economic recovery, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers including Russia, together known as OPEC+, raised its demand forecast for 2022.

On Wednesday, the group agreed to continue a policy of phasing out record production reductions by adding 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). It did not take up entreaties from the United States to accelerate removal of those supply curbs.

India’s gasoline demand is set to hit a record this fiscal year as more people hit the road after easing of COVID-19 curbs.

In the United States, crude inventories dropped by 7.2 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. [EIA/S]

Hurricane Ida, meanwhile, has affected about 80% of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas output. Oil refineries in Louisiana could take weeks to restart, which will sap crude demand, but that could be offset by slow ramp-up of production offshore due to damage to key support facilities.

“Crude oil processing will probably take considerably longer to recover from the outages than crude oil production, which suggests that crude oil stocks will increase in the coming weeks,” said Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Oil rises on economic recovery hopes, weaker dollar

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