ENERGYNEWS

Oil prices reach year-to-date high

Crude oil prices extended losses this week, falling for the second day in a row after a year-to-date highs on Wednesday.  

West Texas Intermediate prices fell 0.8 percent to $59.45 per barrel with Brent crude falling by 1.2 percent to $66.89 per barrel.

The report written by analyst James Hyerczyk, says that “the price action suggests investor uncertainty over domestic and global economic growth on future demand. Nonetheless, the market continues to be supported by the OPEC-led supply cuts and the United States sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.”

WTI and Brent prices closed at $60.23 per barrel, and $68.27 per barrel on Wednesday, their highest points this year. They fell Thursday with WTI and Brent declining to $59.99, and $67.67 per barrel.

“On Thursday, both WTI and Brent crude oil hit new highs for the year, but both showed little follow-through to the upside when they took out the previous day’s high,” Hyerczyk said.

The fact both closed lower could be an indication “that selling may be greater than the buying at current price levels, he said. Crude oil prices have increased significantly since the end of last year.

The increase in recent weeks is most likely influenced by concern about potentially lost Venezuelan output due to the deteriorating situation in Venezuala, as well as indications that the world economy may slow and affect demand. Venezuela, which produces over a million barrels per day, is undergoing a deep political and economic crisis and in recent weeks saw extended electricity blackouts which, in turn, affect the oil production in the fields.

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