After early year slump, crude oil returns to profit


Crude oil prices reached $65 on Monday after a drop in prices earlier in the year.

Brent crude, which is the international benchmark of crude oil, had opened 2018 at $64.73. By January 9, it hit $68 before falling to $61.64 by February 1.

Traders attributed the recent increase to a drop in the number of US drilling rigs for production and the reported job increase in the US which is expected to push fuel demand higher.

Brent sweet crude traded at $65.70 per barrel on Monday, an increase of 21 cents or 0.3 percent from its previous close.

“A falling rig count and the strong employment data may have helped support prices,” NAN quoted William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Rivkin Securities, to have said.

According to Baker Hughes energy services firm, US energy companies cut oil rigs for the first time in almost two months, with drillers cutting back four rigs, to 796.

Reuters reports that although employees may not like the 0.1 percent rise in average hourly earnings, employers liked it and markets loved it.

“This is simply because the modest increase in wage growth indicates that the federal reserve will continue to have some sort of slack in the labour market to deal with and thus keep the Fed on course for three rate hikes in 2018 instead of four,” the report read.

“After all, the combination of robust economic data and limited inflation has been a key factor in keeping the bull market alive.”


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