• Oil hits the highest level since November 2014 as Brent approaches $ 80


    SINGAPORE (Reuters)


    Oil prices hit their highest level since November 2014 on Thursday with Brent approaching $ 80 a barrel as supply was tight and demand continued to hold steady.

    As of 0617 GMT, Brent crude futures were trading at $ 79.40 a barrel, up 0.14 percent from a previous close after hitting a three-and-a-half-year high.

    US crude WTI was $ 71.73 a barrel, up 24 cents, 0.3 percent, from the previous settlement, not far from $ 71.92 on Tuesday, the highest since November 2014.

    "Brent is now peaking at $ 80 a barrel, (with) continued geopolitical risk in support of prices and investors' delight in an unexpected drop in the US inventories," ANZ Bank said today.


    US crude inventories fell 1.4 million barrels in the week ending May 11 to reach 432.34 million barrels.

    The decline in the US inventories "raises concerns about tight markets ahead of the US summer travel season," which typically sees a rise in demand, ANZ said.


    Morgan Stanley had raised its forecast for Brent to $ 90 a barrel by 2020 due to a steady increase in demand.

    Even at $ 80 a barrel, the cost of oil remains huge, with Asia costing $ 1 trillion a year at twice the cost when prices are weak in 2015 and 2016.​

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