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Crude Oil Prices Touch Four-Month High Last Week


Apr. 28 2015, Published 2:57 p.m. ET

Oil price movement

Brent and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices gained some momentum toward the end of last week. The benchmarks closed at $65.28 and $57.15, respectively, on Friday, April 24. On the previous Friday, April 17, they closed at $63.45 and $55.74, respectively. The weekly increases for the benchmarks were ~3% and ~2.5%, respectively.

Higher prices are profitable for companies like Chevron Corporation (CVX), Apache Corporation (APA), Exxon Mobil (XOM), and ConocoPhillips (COP). All these companies are components of the iShares Global Energy ETF (IXC) and make up ~26 % of the ETF.

WTI settled at $56.38 on Monday, April 20. This was 1.1% higher compared to the previous market close of $55.74. Brent prices remained unchanged at $63.45, the same as the Friday before.

US oil futures rose on speculation that crude oil inventory growth was slowing down. Genscape reported a drop in Cushing inventories in the second half of the April 17 week.

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On Tuesday, April 21, crude prices fell after Saudi Arabia announced it had ended its military campaign in Yemen. This eased tensions in the Middle East, causing prices to fall. An expectation of yet another weekly build in crude stockpiles, ahead of the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) report released on Wednesdays, also pushed prices lower.

WTI fell ~2% and settled at $55.26, while Brent slid 2.1% to settle at $62.08 on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, prices increased after Saudi Arabia carried out bombings in Yemen a day after it said it was ending its military campaign there. WTI prices also rose despite a bearish inventory report, likely because crude production declined for the second straight week. The EIA reported an 18,000 barrels per day drop in output last week.

WTI increased by 1.6% to settle at $56.16, while Brent increased by 1% to settle at $62.73 on Wednesday.

Prices continued to rise the next day as well, rising to a four-month high with renewed Saudi air strikes in Yemen. This triggered concerns about Middle Eastern oil shipment disruption.

WTI prices increased 2.8% to settle at $57.74, while Brent prices increased ~3.4% to settle at $64.85 on Thursday.

On Friday, April 24, WTI prices slightly declined on concerns about expansion of US supplies, while Brent gained on the crisis in Yemen.

WTI fell 1% to settle at $57.15 on Friday. Brent increased 0.6% to settle at $65.28.

Continue to the next part to read about trends in the WTI-Brent spread.



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