Brent futures held above $107 a barrel on Friday, as a bitter cold in the United States boosts demand for heating oil and draws down the country’s stockpile of crude and distillates.
Distillate stocks plunged three-and-a-half times more than expected, driving U.S. ultra low-sulfur diesel futures (ULSD) futures to their higher this year and helping the U.S. crude benchmark towards its best week in seven. Brent, poised for its biggest gain in five weeks, also climbed as European refiners shipped diesel to the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Brent crude rose 16 cents to $107.74 a barrel by 0322 GMT, after ending 69 cents lower in the previous session after weak factory activity data from China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer. U.S. oil increased 23 cents to $97.55, extending gains after settling 59 cents up.
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