• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Crude oil posts first monthly gain since June 2014

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Crude oil has posted first monthly gains since June, 2014 supported by an improving demand outlook and supply outages.

On its way to contract expiration, March New York ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) gained more than 7 percent in volatile trading, and the 36 percent February increase was the biggest percentage monthly rise in 15 years.

Brent crude rose by $2.53 to $62.58 a barrel. February’s 18 percent gain was the biggest monthly percentage rise since May 2009. US crude rose by $1.59 to settle at $49.76, managing a 3.1 percent February gain.

Both Brent and US futures briefly pared gains after Baker Hughes data showed its US oil drilling rig count fell only 33 to 986.

US crude gains have been curbed by rising crude oil inventories in the United States, up 8.4 million barrels according to government data.

Brent’s more pronounced February gains have been fueled by disruptions to production and exports from Libya and Iraq.

The spread between Brent and US crude was as wide as $13 a barrel, the highest Brent premium since January 2014. Brent has also received support from strong US refined products futures.

March ULSD rose 16.31 cents to settle at $2.2989 a gallon, after reaching $2.3325, a 2015 peak and the highest since November.