US Crude Rallies, Sets for More

Crude oil likely to hit $80/bbl mark in 2018; 10 stocks which are likely to get impacted the most

Oil buoyed by drop in number of US drilling rigs

CMC Markets analyst, David Madden, said: "The price target was being eyed by Brent for some time, and even though the OPEC production cut extension in November formed the basis of the move higher, additional fear factors finally pushed it across the $70 line". The contract topped out at $64.77, a high going back to December 8, 2014.

Because crude oil prices are expected to be relatively flat through 2019, US gasoline prices are also expected to remain near current levels.

On the demand side, global demand on average of 2.6 mbpd higher compared to 2016 and was one of the important reasons for oil price strength.

A survey of analysts by commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts revealed expectations of a 3.5 million barrel draw on crude oil inventories in the United States, the world's leading economy.

Brent oil has come close to $70/b.

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Russian Federation needs much lower oil prices to balance its budget than OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia, which is preparing a stock market listing for national energy giant Aramco this year and would hence benefit from pricier crude.

At first sight, we could think that those oil nations who signed the oil agreement can now celebrate since at 75 dollars per barrel, for example, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia could eliminate most or even all of the budget deficit.

"In view of sharply falling USA crude oil stocks and record-high compliance with the production cuts by Opec, market participants are convinced that the market is continuing to tighten", said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank.

Reuters reported that a broad, global market rally, including stocks, has also been fuelling investment in crude oil futures.

The oil market has been buoyant for weeks, with USA crude futures at highs not seen since late 2014, and Brent crude less than $1 per barrel away from a similar milestone. In any case, if WTI were to go back below the 2017 high of $60.48, which was hit late in the year, and the 2018's opening price of $60.09, then the technical outlook would turn bearish on oil. The summit ended with extending the OPEC+ deal until the end of 2018.

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Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.6-per-cent fall in interest-rate sensitive real estate and 0.8- per-cent drop in utilities.

Palladium rose 1.3pc to $1,097.10, having touched an all-time high of $1,099.50, surpassing the record high set on Tuesday.

Distillate fuel consumption growth is forecast to accelerate in 2018, with expected annual average growth of 100,000 BPD (2.5%), resulting in average consumption of more than 4.0 MMBPD, followed by growth of 10,000 BPD (0.4%) in 2019. Their gas demand increased by 7.4% down from 12% the year before.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising USA interest rates as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Traders are further net-short than yesterday and last week, and the combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us a stronger Oil - US Crude-bullish contrarian trading bias.

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