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Oil Begins New Year Firmly due to Trade Optimism

Oil rates began the new year up on Thursday as easing trade tensions between Beijing and Washington alleviated demand worries, whereas the Middle East increased strain awakened worries about supply.

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Brent crude futures with delivery in March added 0.47 percent, to touch $66,31 per barrel, while U.S. WTI light crude grew by 0.33 percent, to $61,26 per barrel at 0925 GMT. 

Both benchmarks grew over 2019, marking their strongest year-on-year gain since 2016, supported at the end of the year easing trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies – and a deeper supply slash led by the OPEC and its allies.

The analysts predict an average of $63.07 per barrel for Brent benchmark in 2020 and an averaged price for WTI crude of $57.70 per barrel on the back of boosted commodity outlook amid OPEC-led continuing output cuts in new year. 

The additional buoy for oil prices was a decline in U.S. crude stocks last week, when it was a registered a 7.8 million barrels drop in the week, which ended on December 27, though analysts were expected a 3.2 million barrels decrease.