By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com - There are fewer better times in oil trading that one could have picked to be a bull, like now.
Crude prices posted a sixth straight weekly win, with global benchmark Brent printing a new $90-a-barrel peak. The latest run was fueled again by the political theater of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the upcoming meeting of oil producers alliance OPEC+, which never fails to provide its own drama to keep crude prices on the boil.
“Bottom line is that everything that I look at tells me oil can go a lot higher,” said Scott Shelton, crude futures broker at ICAP (LON: NXGN ) in Durham, North Carolina. “Refiners can reach for barrels here at this price … margins will justify it.” He added though that he thought “a smaller flat price is better suited for this story”, suggesting an overrun in prices.
Brent hit an eight-year high of $90.25 per barrel before setting up 69 cents, or 0.7%, at $90.03. For the week, it rose 2.4%, while the cumulative gain for the six weeks was 22%. For the year itself, Brent was up around 14%.
West Texas Intermediate , the benchmark for U.S. crude, settled up 21 cents, or 0.2%, at $86.82. For the week, WTI gained 2%, while the total rise for the six weeks was 23%. Since 2020 began, it has risen around 15%.
Russia-Ukraine tensions reached a new high after Moscow’s military buildup near Ukraine has expanded to include supplies of blood along with other medical materials that would allow it to treat casualties. It was another indicator yet of the Kremlin's military readiness in the conflict, three U.S. officials tell Reuters.
OPEC+, meanwhile, readied for its Feb. 2 monthly meeting. Every session of the global oil alliance these days has been an opportunity for its officials to talk up oil prices. In recent weeks, the energy market has been saturated with reports that oil exporters in the alliance were unable to add to production due to capacity constraints from under-invested oil fields.
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