Oil prices were steady during the week ending June 4, as investors were watching whether the euphoria over the positive economic data and easing of the restrictions in the big global economies will lead a further demand rise.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $71.42 at 1100 GMT on Friday, posting more than a 0.09% increase from Monday when trade at 0609 GMT registered at $71.35 per barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $68.97 at the same time on Friday, rising over 0.16% relative to $61.87 a barrel on Monday.
Oil prices started the week on an optimistic sentiment on the back of positive economic data from the world's largest oil consumers, China and the US. Brent has sat just below $72 a barrel and WTI reached its highest level since October 2018.
The euphoria on the oil prices has been fueled more after the world’s major oil producers reaffirmed their previous decision to incrementally increase the production till the end of July. Interpreted as confidence on positive market trajectory by the investors, the decision of OPEC+ exerted upward pressure on oil prices.
Falling US crude stocks also helped the prices, which is also interpreted as rebounding oil demand ahead of the summer driving season.
US commercial crude oil inventories fell by 5.1 million barrels, or 1%, to 479.3 million barrels, relative to the market expectation of a fall of 2.1 million barrels, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Another clear sign on the path of demand recovery comes from the EU region as, according to the World Health Organization, 44% of EU adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine and many European countries plus the UK have lifted restrictions ahead of the tourism season. They allow conditional domestic or international travel, some with quarantine, some with negative COVID-19 test or vaccine certificate.
The pace of the vaccination campaigns are also expected to get wider after the World Health Organization announced on Monday that it validated the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, “giving countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing.”
By Sibel Morrow