Oil prices continued to surge on Thursday after Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that it will be happy to see prices hit between $80 and $100 per barrel. The comment was a hint that the oil giant will seek to extend its production cuts once the 2018 deadline hits. Oil has risen 7 percent this year, and it is currently one of the best-performing commodities. Analysts polled by Reuters have raised their forecasts for oil every month since August, confirming trader optimism for a continued price increase.
Reports from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday confirmed that the country’s commercial crude stocks declined 1.1 million barrels last week to 427.57 million, just under what the American Petroleum Institute predicted on Tuesday.
As of 2:08 p.m. HK/SIN, U.S. WTI futures were trading at $68.78 per barrel, up 0.45 percent. Brent crude futures were up 0.54 percent to $73.88 per barrel.
The oil rally pushed global stock indexes higher, with the energy sector supporting the gains. The Hang Seng Index was up 1.30 percent in the early afternoon in Asia and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.13 percent. The Shanghai Composite, South Korea’s Kospi and Australia’s ASX 200 were also in the green.
On the currency markets, the greenback remained range-bound, with the dollar firming slightly. The dollar index was trading at 89.67 .DXY, up 0.06 percent. The dollar was trading at 107.45 yen, a gain of 0.19 percent. The dollar was relatively flat against the euro, trading at $1.2373.