Oil prices surge on strong China data

 
Caitlin Morrison
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U.S. Federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Oil prices are surging based on strong China data, among other things (Source: Getty)

Oil prices have surged to near mid-2015 highs, with Brent crude and WTI trading at levels they haven't reached in more than two years.

Global benchmark Brent crude rose to $66.68 per barrel in early trading, while its US counterpart is inching closer to the $60 mark, trading at $59.82.

Traders put the higher prices down to China releasing strong import quotas for 2018, which could lead to another record for purchases by the world’s biggest importer.

The oil market has also been helped by 12 months of OPEC and Russia-led production cuts, which are set to continue throughout next year.

Pipeline outages in Libya and the North Sea have also been supporting oil prices.

“Given the much stronger price response to supply disruptions in the wake of OPEC supply cuts, the market is poised to make further gains,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda.

“With geopolitical risk no less sure ahead of Libyan elections next year, we should expect more regional chaos and disorder to underpin oil prices."

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