Oil Keeps Rising on Middle East Tension and Gulf of Mexico Storm

Oil prices hit a six-week high on Thursday as oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated ahead of a storm, while an incident with a British tanker in the Middle East highlighted tensions in the region.


West Texas Intermediate graph

However, prices gave up most gains as OPEC forecast that world demand for its crude would decline next year as rivals pumped more, pointing to the return of a surplus despite an OPEC-led pact to restrain supplies.

Brent crude futures were up 2 cents at $67.03 a barrel by 1330 GMT. Earlier in the session, they hit their highest since May 30 at $67.65, after ending Wednesday up 4.4%.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 9 cents at $60.52 a barrel, having touched their highest since May 23 at $60.94. They gained 4.5% in the previous session.


Brent crude graph

A day after Iran warned Britain would face “consequences” over the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker, three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of a British ship run by BP through the Strait of Hormuz, the British government said. They withdrew after warnings from a British warship.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza