Oil prices inched higher on Thursday as data showing a draw in U.S. crude stocks boosted optimism about demand.
Reports showing improving business confidence in Germany and France also fueled hopes of a fast economic recovery.
Benchmark Brent crude futures rose 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $75.38 a barrel, after rising half a percent on Wednesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $73.17 per barrel, after gaining 0.3 percent in the previous session.
Both benchmarks hit their highest since October 2018 on Wednesday before ending off day’s highs.
Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories in the U.S. fell by 7.614 million barrels last week, declining for a fifth straight week. Analysts had expected crude inventories to drop by about 3.9 million barrels in the week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude stocks fell by 7.2 million barrels for the week ending June 18, compared with expectations for a much smaller draw of 3.9 million barrels.
On the data front, Germany’s ifo Institute’s business climate index rose to 101.8 in June from 99.2 in the previous month. The score was expected to rise moderately to 100.6.
According to ifo, both current assessment as well as expectations improved in June.
French statistics agency INSEE said its monthly business confidence index rose to 113 from 108 in May, hitting its highest level since July 2007 as the easing of COVID restrictions unleashed a service sector boom.
Meanwhile, Iran said on Wednesday the United States had agreed to remove all sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping, although Germany cautioned that Tehran and the powers still had to overcome significant hurdles.
The focus now is on the upcoming meeting of the OPEC+ (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies), scheduled to take place on July 1, which will discuss further easing of curbs.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com
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