Crude oil started this week on a stronger note and gained in the first three trading days of the week. Carrying forward the strength, crude oil opened stronger on Thursday and traded with strength at the highest levels traded since November 2011 in the early hours.
Crude oil prices are strong on Thursday. Brent crude crossed $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014. Increased geopolitical tensions about Iran triggered supply concerns and pushed oil prices up this week. Crude oil gained momentum in the early hours after Total, the energy producer and provider, threatened to quit Iran amid looming US sanctions. Lower US inventory levels also pushed oil higher. According to the EIA, US crude oil inventories declined by 1.40 MMbbls and extended support to prices.
At 6:50 AM EST on May 17, the WTI crude oil futures for June delivery were trading at $72.11 per barrel—a gain of 0.84%. The Brent crude oil futures for July delivery gained 0.78% and traded at $79.90 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $42.23 after gaining 0.67% on Wednesday.
After a rebound on Wednesday amid a drop in the US dollar, copper started Thursday on a stable note and traded with strength in the early hours. Concerns about less demand from China and the US dollar’s strength are limiting the upward movement in copper prices on May 17. The SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) gained 1.7% and closed at $37.59 on May 16.
Gold and silver are mixed in the early hours on Thursday. Gold declined as the US Dollar Index surged to the highest levels traded this year. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) declined 0.16% and closed at $122.29 on May 16. Platinum and palladium are weak in the early hours on May 17.