• Oil prices gain on US supply drop


    SINGAPORE: Oil prices extended their gains to multi-month highs on Thursday following another drop in US supplies and the prospect of further disruptions to output from key producers Nigeria and Canada.

    The commodity has almost doubled since hitting near 13-year lows at the start of the year as a global supply glut has eased thanks chiefly to a weakening dollar, signs of a pick-up in the world economy and falling production from Nigeria and Canada.

    On Wednesday the Department of Energy said US commercial stocks fell much more than expected in the week to June 3, fanning talk that demand is improving in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

    “The inventory has been dropping for three consecutive weeks, showing that the supply-demand relationship has leaned towards a balance,” CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang wrote in a note.

    At about 6:45 a.m. local time, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 26 cents, or 0.51 percent, to $51.49 a barrel, its highest since July. Brent gained 14 cents, or 0.27 percent, to $52.65, its highest since October.

    Expectations that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates until September at the earliest has put downward pressure on the dollar, making the black gold cheaper for anyone buying it with other currencies.



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