- WTI extends gains in post-settlement trade.
- Crude oil stocks in the U.S. fell 5 million barrels.
After settling at $61.63/bbl with a daily gain of $1.26 on Wednesday, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate stretched higher in the post-settlement trade and rose to its best level since early May of 2015 at $61.95. As of writing, the barrel of WTI was trading a few cents above that recent high, gaining 2.6% on the day.
According to the latest weekly report released by the American Petroleum Institute, crude oil inventories in the U.S. decreased by 5 million barrels in the week to December 29 to 427.8 million. Experts were expecting the crude oil stocks to drop 5.1 million barrels. Reporting the details of the report, "refinery crude runs rose by 309,000 barrels per day, API data showed. Gasoline stocks rose by 1.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.2 million-barrel gain," Reuters wrote.
Xinhua News agency today reported that the upbeat macroeconomic data from Europe and the United States, which revealed an increasing business activity in the manufacturing sector in the U.S. and a lower unemployment rate in Germany, provided an additional boost to crude oil as they ramped up the expectations of global demand rising in 2018.
Technical levels to consider
The barrel of WTI could encounter the initial hurdle at $62 (psychological level) ahead of $62.60 (May 6, 2015, high) and $63.40 (Dec. 10, 2014, high). On the downside, supports could be seen at $60 (psychological level), $59.49 (Dec. 28, 2017, low) and $58.30 (Dec. 26, 2017, low).
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