Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher On Positive Economic Data

Trading 01 avr 2019 Donner votre avis

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, as worries about global energy demand eased after data showed a notable improvement in manufacturing activity in the world's second largest economy.

OPEC-led output cuts and sanctions on U.S. sanctions Iran and Venezuela continued to support crude oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $1.45, or 2.4%, at $61.59 a barrel, the highest level in nearly five months.

On Friday, oil futures for May ended up $0.84, or 1.4%, at $60.14 a barrel.

With today's gains, crude oil futures have nearly 35% since the beginning of this year.

Crude output from OPEC dropped for a fourth month as Saudi Arabia continued with output curbs aimed at balancing global markets. Escalating economic crisis in Venezuela too tightened the energy market.

According to a report from Baker Hughes last Friday, U.S. energy firms reduced the number of oil rigs operating to their lowest in nearly a year, cutting the most rigs during one quarter in three years. In the January - March quarter, the rig count dropped by 69. In January - March 2016 quarter, the rig count had fallen by 164.

In the week to March 29, oil rig count dropped by eight, to 816, falling for a sixth straight week. For the month, the rig count fell by 37, the most in a month since April 2016.

In economic news, Chinese factory activity in March unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months, according to official data. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.8 from 49.9 in February, recording the strongest reading in eight months.

On the trade front, U.S.-China trade talks are reported to be progressing well, with Washington saying the negotiations that concluded on Friday in Beijing were "candid and constructive".

Beijing announced that it would continue to suspend additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles and auto parts after April 1 as a gesture after Washington delayed tariff hikes on Chinese imports.

A delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He will be in Washington this week for another round of talks.


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