Oil eyes $50 per barrel as outages, global stocks rally

17 May 2016, Lagos – Oil rose to six-month high near $50 per barrel on Tuesday boosted by investors demand for riskier assets at the expense of safe-haven bonds.

Crude-oilBrent crude futures LCOc1 rose 0.7 per cent to $49.31 per barrel, after having risen 2.4 percent on Monday, touching $49.47, its highest since early November.

U.S. crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 went up 1.1 per cent to $48.24, having risen 3.3 per cent on Monday. Besides, the prices of oil have been helped by supply disruptions from a combination of Nigerian, Venezuelan and other outages.

There are also declining U.S. production and virtually frozen inflows of Canadian crude after wildfires in Alberta’s oil sands region slowed glut and helped to lift oil prices.

“The oil market continues to make an even larger fool of most forecasters than other financial assets: having caught everyone out by plummeting, it is now catching us out by continuing to rise,” Rabobank analysts wrote. “I expect prices to take a shot at $50,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank.

“The outages in Canada and Nigeria alone are probably enough to leave the global oil market undersupplied at present.”

Oil is still only half its level of mid-2014, when concern about excess supply prompted prices to begin a decline from over $100. Still, the disruptions this week triggered a U-turn in the oil market outlook of Goldman Sachs.

The bank, which had been warning of a risk of $20 oil, now sees U.S. crude trading as high as $50 in the second half of 2016. Crude inventories in the U.S. at a record high in April, are expected to decline in weekly supply reports due later on Tuesday and on Wednesday.

This would support the view that excess supply is easing.

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