Oil Rises More Than $1 Per Barrel On Tighter Supply Outlook: Report

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, closing out the month higher on the prospect of OPEC+ staying the course on production cuts, ongoing attacks on Russia's energy infrastructure and a falling US rig count tightening crude supplies.

Brent crude futures for May settled at $87.48 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures closed at $83.17 a barrel. On the week, Brent rose 2.4% and WTI gained about 3.2%.

Both benchmarks finished higher for a third consecutive month. In the prior session, oil prices had come under pressure from last week's unexpected rise in US crude oil and gasoline inventories, driven by an increase in crude imports and sluggish gasoline demand, according to Energy Information Administration data.

The US economy, meanwhile, grew faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.4% annualised rate from the previously reported 3.2% pace, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

Inflation data also affirmed the case for the US Federal Reserve to hold off on cutting its short-term interest rate target, a Fed governor said, but he did not rule out trimming rates later in the year. Asia Spot LNG Maintains Six-Week High Amid Emerging Demand

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices were little moved this week, holding on to a six-week high amid emerging spot demand in both southeast Asia and Europe.

The average LNG price for May delivery into northeast Asia rose 1.1% , or $0.10, from the previous week to $9.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) industry sources estimated. The price has hovered between $9 and $10 per mmBtu last week, discouraging some Asian buyers from buying spot volumes as prices went back closer to $10/mmBtu.

Southeast China is set for a hot turn to summer, with daily maximum temperatures forecast to be several degrees Celsius above long-term averages for the coming week, suggesting scope for some early power sector cooling demand, analysts said.

Market players are keeping a close eye on Japan, where the yen slid to a 34-year low against the US dollar on Wednesday.

In Europe, gas prices fluctuated between $8-$9 per mmBtu last week, amid strong storage inventories and milder weather forecast.

Suppliers with US origin LNG are incentivised to send their shipments to Europe rather than Asia due to longer shipping distances, despite Asian spot prices being around $1 higher than in Europe last week.


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