Oil futures on Thursday built on gains that have taken crude to one-year highs, underpinned by expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will continue to keep a lid on output as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Positive commentary from OPEC+ yesterday is still filling the newsreel and perhaps lending a hand to the oil price, despite a stronger dollar and U.S. inventory data that was less bullish than indicated in Tuesday’s [American Petroleum Institute] figures,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi, in a note.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 45 cents, or 0.8%, to $56.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 41 cents, or 0.7%, at $58.87 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
WTI was on track for a fourth straight gain after ending Wednesday at its highest since January, while Brent was aiming to extend its win streak to five days after closing at its highest since Feb. 21.
Gains for crude came after data showed a smaller-than-expected fall in U.S. inventories on Wednesday, along with a rise in gasoline supplies, while OPEC and its allies made no changes to output curbs at a monthly meeting.