Oil soars to 3-year high, as USA crude stockpiles drop

Brent Crude

Daily June Brent Crude

After jumping almost 3% overnight, Brent was at $74.40 a barrel, up 1.25% on the day.

The cartel and its partners will meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, tomorrow, and Opec will meet on 22 June to review the cuts. Iran, once a keen OPEC price hawk, now wants lower prices than Saudi Arabia. USA gasoline demand surged to a record high of 9.9 MMbbl a day before the summer driving season when consumption typically peaks.

Yields on United States two-year Treasuries stood at levels last visited in 2008 at 2.43 per cent and 10-year German yields went above 0.55 per cent for the first time in nearly a month.

For next year, however, ING expects lower prices due to rising USA crude output, which has jumped by a quarter since mid-2016.

Opec is expected to continue taking barrels off the market despite three-year-and-a-half high oil prices of above $74 per barrel as the group's monitoring committee, which includes Russian Federation convenes in Jeddah on Friday to discuss the newer market dynamics and plans to forge a stronger alliance.

"The Saudis and their colleagues in OPEC need higher oil for their fiscal positions and the Kingdom is on a bold - and costly - reform program", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader.

"The idea of bearish USA production just getting dumped onto the open market and taking down oil prices is getting some reprieve for now".

Japan's Nikkei faded late in the day to end up 0.15 per cent, but basic materials and utilities both climbed more than 2 per cent. This would shift the initial goal of the scheme and would see it morph into an effort to drive prices up past $80, or possibly even $100, a barrel.

Stockpiles of gasoline also dropped by 3 million barrels, while distillates fuels including diesel decline by 3.1 million barrels.

Meanwhile, production continues to decline in Venezuela, where economic crisis has paralyzed the nation's lifeblood oil industry.

Few OPEC sources call for an exit strategy.

The impression is that oil prices are seen as not yet high enough to encourage sufficient oil investment.

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) will make a recommendation to OPEC about whether or not the production cut deal should be extended into 2019. "We are working on moving from a model agreement for a year to a longer term - 10-20 years", he said. "We have to test it".

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