NEW YORK: Rising demand pushed U.S. crude above $50 a barrel on Thursday, while sterling jumped after the Bank of England said it was likely to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade in coming months.
Energy shares rose on Wall Street and in Europe, but stocks were mixed worldwide. A gauge of global equity indexes fell slightly, as did the S&P 500 in the United States, while major European indexes gained and the Dow set a new closing high.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, rose more than 2 percent before paring gains after a forecast by the International Energy Agency on Wednesday and dollar weakness prompted bullish sentiment in the oil market.
“Anticipation is growing that this could quicken the pace of oil market rebalancing,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy’s Global Gas Analytics in London.
U.S. crude rose 59 cents to settle at $49.89 a barrel and benchmark Brent settled up 31 cents at $55.47.
Brent has climbed more than $10 a barrel over the past three months and is close to where it was at the beginning of the year, roughly trading between $55 and $57 a barrel.
BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters in an interview that oil prices were likely to stay between $50 and $60 a barrel as major producers kept output restricted.
“We’re all trying to make our way in this world of between $50 and $60 and I would expect that to continue.” – Reuters