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Oil inches above $41 for first time since March in respite for Nigeria’s Naira

Brent crude is trading above $41 per barrel on Friday with hopes that OPEC would extend its oil production curb next week and with a forecast for a decline in US crude stocks while WTI traded at $37.63 a barrel as pressure eases for a Naira devaluation in oil dependent Nigeria.

The international benchmark climbed above $40 a barrel in Asian trading for the first time since March 6, 2020, when OPEC and its allies failed at the meeting in the Austrian capital Vienna to agree on a deeper production cut against weak global oil demand.

Brent fell to as low as $15.98 per barrel on April 22 with low global oil consumption from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and with OPEC’s failure to provide deeper cuts, which led to a rise in oversupply, piling fiscal and currency pressures on Nigeria.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday forecast that crude oil inventories would show a surprise decline of 483,000 barrels for the week ending May 29, which helped push crude prices higher overnight.

Asian stocks also climbed on Friday, poised to cap a second straight week of gains, as U.S. and European equity-index futures advanced. The dollar extended its slide for a third week and crude oil reversed losses.

Shares in Japan and South Korea advanced, while indexes in Hong Kong and Australia saw modest gains. Contracts on the S&P 500 rose as the index snapped a four-day winning streak Thursday. Ten-year Treasury yields held near the highest level since March. The euro earlier surged after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected boost to its emergency bond-buying program.

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