Oil prices rise on tensions, healthy global demand

SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, supported by geopolitical tensions and healthy global demand, although rising US output from the United States continued to weigh on markets.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.82 a barrel at 0027 GMT, up 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their previous close.
Brent crude futures were at $67.66 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.4 per cent.
Analysts also pointed to healthy economic growth and a weak dollar as oil price drivers.
In a sign of healthy demand, US crude stocks fell by 2.7 million barrels in the week ended March 16 to 425.3 million, as refineries boosted output, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.
“The global economy is humming, and robust demand solidly underpins commodity prices. The soft dollar and a bullish market mood have been equally supportive elements,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity Research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.
A weaker greenback makes imports of dollar-denominated crude cheaper for countries using other currencies at home, potentially spurring demand.
Despite this, he said seasonally low demand at the end of the northern hemisphere winter season meant he had “a rather cautious near-term outlook on commodities.” — Reuters