Por Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
LONDON (Reuters) – Crude prices rose for the third day in a row on Wednesday as easing lockdowns in the United States and parts of Europe boosted demand for fuel in the summer and offset concerns about a rise in oil prices. COVID-19 infections in India and Japan.
* At 1105 GMT, Brent crude was up 82 cents, or 1.19%, at $ 69.70 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate in the United States (WTI) was up 78 cents, or 1.19%. , at $ 66.47 a barrel.
* Both contracts hit their highest level since mid-March in intraday trading.
* “A return in crude to $ 70 is closer to reality,” said Stephen Brennock of brokerage PVM.
* “The jump in oil prices came amid expectations of strong demand as Western economies reopen. In fact, anticipation of a rise in fuel and energy use in the United States and Europe during the summer months is high. “, he pointed.
* Crude prices were also supported by a sharp decline in inventories in the United States, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group cited by two sources.
* The advance in crude prices to highs of almost two months has been supported by the distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 in the United States and Europe.
* This has offset declining demand in India, the world’s third largest oil consumer, which is fighting a surge in infections.
GRAPH: IEA Oil Demand and Supply Forecasts https://tmsnrt.rs/32ZE2UT
Asset performance in the year http://tmsnrt.rs/2szi3CI
API figures show sharp drop in US crude and fuel inventories: sources
India records daily record of coronavirus deaths
(Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Koustav Samanta in Singapore; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)