Oil hits two-week high on share market recovery, Mideast tensions

U.A.E. Energy Minister on OPEC Alliance Oil Inventories

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, has fallen from its January peak at just above $70 per barrel, but got support from defense rhetoric against Iran from Israel's prime minister.

The exuberance overshadowed steady and strong gains in USA crude oil production, which has since helped drive the price of oil toward the $60 range.

Traders said that WTI prices found support on the reduced productions from Canada's Keystone Pipeline System, which has lessened Canadian supplies in the U.S. due to a leak that has slowed operating capacity since late 2017.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 69 cents, or 1.12 per cent, to Dollars 62.37, while Brent crude, used to price global oils, lost 21 cents, or 0.32 per cent, to USD 65.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"The drawdown in inventory has been supportive for WTI, with the Brent-WTI spread narrowing from nearly US$7 per barrel at the end of December to around US$3.20 a barrel now".

Oil prices are likely to be higher in 2018 than they were previous year, but are likely to lose some of their recent momentum as shale producers in the USA ramp up activity, according to two new reports from analysts at Gulf banks. OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1.

So far this year North American gold investors have the led the charge with funds adding 21.5 tonnes worth $940m during the month or three-quarters of the global total.

WTI has gained more than 8 per cent since the end of November, when the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies agreed to extend an output-curb deal until the end of this year.

Saudi Arabia has been lobbying to keep prices high by instigating a production cut for both OPEC and non-OPEC partner countries. The United States added rigs last week for the fourth consecutive week, bringing the total number to 798. This has led to a reduction in USA oil supplies.

Other commodities such as the gold edged lower on Tuesday, as the dollar's continuous recovery puts the yellow metal under pressure. Europe's main indexes were fairly stable on Tuesday but Asian markets closed broadly lower, with the Nikkei 225 closing down 1 percent, South Korea's Kospi falling 1.13 percent and the Shanghai Composite slumping 0.46 percent.

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