WTI Crude Heads To $80 Per Barrel, Demand Rises In China


Western Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US crude oil benchmark, was trading around $79.30 a barrel on Friday.

Oil prices edged higher amid optimism about demand in China and the US. The two countries that are the world's largest consumers of crude oil.

China's oil imports increased by 5.45% in April compared to the same month last year. This marks an encouraging increase in demand based on official Chinese statistics on Thursday.

According to Tina Teng, an independent market analyst said China's improved Trade Balance data is driving positive momentum in WTI prices.

On Wednesday, a drop in inventory also boosted prices. US crude oil inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels last week from 7.3 million barrels produced the previous week. The market expects that the stock projection will decrease by 1.4 million barrels.

Focused on the conflict, the Israeli army massed tanks and opened fire near the Rafah area on Thursday after President Joe Biden blocked the pipeline of arms aid to Israel if they persisted in invading Rafah.

Continued geopolitical tensions and uncertainties in the Middle East are likely to raise concerns about oil supply disruptions that could boost WTI prices.

Nevertheless, a stronger US dollar after the support of hawkish Fed officials' speech is likely to further limit crude's gains.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said on Thursday that uncertainty over the outlook for inflation makes policy projections difficult to determine until the Fed gets clearer direction.