Oil prices rose on Wednesday, buoyed by an outage at a major refinery on the U.S. East Coast and industry data that confirmed U.S. crude stockpiles fell greater than expected.
Front-month Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark, had been up 82 cents at $65.87 per barrel. They earlier touched their highest since Could 31 at $66.25 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had been at $58.95 per barrel, up $1.12 from their last settlement. WTI earlier hit its highest level since Might 30 at $59.13 a barrel. U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 7.5 million barrels within the week ended June 21 to 474.5 million, in contrast with analyst expectations for a decline of 2.5 million barrels, American Petroleum Institute information confirmed.
The crude stock fall and refinery outage added to uncertainty over oil provide created by the confrontation between Washington and Tehran. This has prompted fears that oil shipments by way of the Strait of Hormuz – the world’s busiest oil supply route – could possibly be disrupted.
Bilateral tensions spiked anew after Iran shot down a U.S. drone last week in the Gulf. Relations have been tense since Washington blamed attacks on oil tankers just outside the Gulf in Could and June on Iran, whereas Tehran has denied any role.
Within the search for long term direction, markets will watch the G20 meeting this weekend followed by a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers going down on July 1-2.
Non-OPEC producer Russia, backed by Saudi Arabia, pushed for the meeting to be delayed to see the result of the G20 talks. OPEC and non-OPEC producers are on account of focus on extending output cuts for the second half of this year.
Energy demand projections and the global economic outlook have been weighed down by trade warfare between America and China. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet on the weekend for the first time in seven months.