AtlantisFX | Drastically fallen US crude oil inventories drove oil prices up significantly on Wednesday. Last cost a barrel (159 liters) of the North Sea Brent 66,50 US dollars. That was $ 1.46 more than the day before. The price of a barrel of the American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose $ 1.65 to $ 59.49.
The US crude oil inventories were down sharply last week, as they have been since September 2016. Inventories fell by 12.8 million to 469.6 million barrels, according to the US Department of Energy. Analysts had expected only a decline by 2.8 million barrels. This can be a sign of higher demand or falling supply.
For some weeks now, oil prices have been affected by factors that can be either higher or lower. The first group includes the political tensions between the US and Iran, which are making the situation in the oil-rich region of the Persian Gulf more uncertain. For example, US President Trump threatened Iran with "partial annihilation" if it were to attack US targets and interests in the region.
Falling prices, on the other hand, point to the trade dispute between the USA and China, because with every escalation the global economy and thus the demand for crude oil are in danger of suffering.
The view is also focused on the session "Opec +" next week. This is where the countries of the Organization of Petroleum Sorting Countries (Opec) and other oil producing countries such as Russia have joined forces to limit oil production. "An extension of the cut-off agreement for another six months seems to be a good thing," commented Carsten Fritsch, commodities expert at Commerzbank (DE: CBKG).