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Crude oil WTI can break above 72.00 handle on Venezuela

17 May 2018

However, the tailwinds for crude oil now vastly outnumber the headwinds, so prices will likely continue upwards in the coming days, especially in light of the escalation in Israel following the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that ignited protests in Gaza, prompting an immediate military response from the IDF.

Oil prices firmed on Thursday, with Brent crude creeping ever closer to $80 per barrel, a level it has not seen since November 2014, as supplies tighten while demand remains strong.

But there are signs in physical crude markets that may give pause to financial investors.

"Aggregate production - both actual and projected - is growing for the majors", S&P Global Ratings said in a report published on Tuesday.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday that it had lowered its global oil demand growth forecast for 2018 from 1.5-million barrels a day to 1.4-million barrels a day.

Not all indicators pointed to a tighter market, however.

Commodity brokerage Marex Spectron said the surge in U.S. supplies was a "strongly price-bearish development".

Stronger oil prices are also spilling into other markets.

Data from China's refineries showed that in April, these processed some 12.06 million barrels of crude daily, up 12 percent on the year and also the second-highest daily throughput rate on record, Reuters noted.

"We expect the EIA report to display bearish results amidst higher rig counts and production levels in the USA", said Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

"A rising oil price brings upside price risk to all commodities", Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients this week.

Crude oil WTI can break above 72.00 handle on Venezuela