Oil ends at 4-wk high on China exports, IEA

By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. oil prices climbed 1.48 percent on Thursday to end at a four-week high above $75 a barrel on strong Chinese export data and the International Energy Agency’s raised global oil demand forecast.

U.S. and global equities rose and the dollar and gold fell after the Chinese data helped ease worries about a slowdown in Europe and revived investors’ risk appetite.

“Risk appetite is creeping back into the markets,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

U.S. crude for July rose $1.10, or 1.48 percent, to settle at $75.48 a barrel, a third straight increase and highest since ending at $75.65 on May 12.

ICE Brent rose $1.02, or 1.37 percent, to settle at $75.29, a fourth consecutive higher close.

“…(M)omentum within the oil complex has taken a decided shift to the upside this week, a development that has quelled but not eliminated the fund liquidation process that typified most of last month’s trade,” Jim Ritterbusch, president at Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a research note.

China’s exports jumped 48.5 percent in May from a year earlier, beating forecasts of a 32 percent gain and confirming a Reuters Wednesday report, which helped send oil up more than 3 percent.

The Paris-based IEA revised up its estimate of 2010 global oil demand growth this year due to increased fuel use in the United States and on higher Chinese consumption.

The IEA raised its global oil demand growth forecast for 2010 by 70,000 barrels per day to 1.68 million bpd, saying oil demand this year would hit 86.44 million bpd, up from 84.76 million bpd in 2009.

David Fyfe, head of the IEA’s Oil Industry and Markets Division, said the upward revision was a response to further signs of a recovery in economic activity.

“The demand revision was quite a minor one, but it was based on stronger demand for middle distillates in the United States,” Fyfe said.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration and OPEC monthly reports lowered their 2010 demand growth forecasts slightly.

OPEC also is expected to keep exporting at healthy levels. Seaborne oil exports by OPEC, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will rise by 90,000 bpd in the four weeks to June 26, consultancy Oil Movements said on Thursday.

Oil futures prices jumped 3.3 percent on Wednesday after EIA data showed U.S. crude stocks last week dropped a larger-than-expected 1.8 million barrels. (EIA/S: )

Oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, crude oil hub and delivery point for benchmark U.S. crude rose 111,186 barrels in the week to June 8, to a record 40 million barrels, data from energy industry data provider Genscape said on Thursday.

The EIA pegged Cushing stocks down 500,000 barrels to 37.4 million barrels in the week to June 4. Weaker front-month crude futures prices versus months further out have been an incentive to buy crude and store it to sell later at higher prices.

Money

(Additional reporting by Gene Ramos in New York, Christopher Johnson in London, Alejandro Barbajosa in Singapore)

Oil ends at 4-wk high on China exports, IEA