Oil prices surge as demand grows in major consumers

Oil prices saw an increase on Friday, buoyed by strong demand indicators from the US and China, the world's leading oil consumers.

Publication: 08.03.2024 - 12:24
Oil prices surge as demand grows in major consumers
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The international benchmark Brent crude reached $83.62 per barrel by 11:08 a.m. local time (0808 GMT), marking a 0.80% increase from the closing figure of $82.96 at the end of the previous session.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up by 1.01%, trading at $79.73 per barrel, compared to the closing price of $78.93 per barrel in the preceding session.

The price uplift was supported by data revealing a surge in gasoline demand in the US, the largest oil consumer globally. This trend was reflected in the Energy Information Administration's report, which noted significant decreases in gasoline and distillate fuel oil inventories by approximately 4.5 million barrels and 4.1 million barrels, respectively. The reductions exceeded market expectations, signaling robust demand within the US.

Moreover, China, the top crude oil importer and the second-largest oil consumer worldwide, reported a 5.1% increase in crude oil imports in the year's first two months, as per the General Administration of Customs. This data suggests a resurgence in demand following economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further support for oil prices came from comments by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. In a recent speech, Powell hinted that the Fed might be approaching a position to cut interest rates sooner rather than later. He emphasized that the Fed is "not far" from having the confidence to adjust monetary policy and highlighted the risks of delaying interest rate cuts.

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