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February 25, 2021

Oil prices surge to 13-month high as US assures low rates

Crude oil prices have spiked to the highest levels in more than 13 months supported by US Federal Reserve assurances that interest rates will remain low and a significant slump in US oil production.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

Crude oil prices have spiked to the highest levels in more than 13 months supported by US Federal Reserve assurances that interest rates will remain low and a significant slump in US oil production.

Brent crude futures for April rose $0.19, or 0.3%, to reach $67.23 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude for April increased $0.8, or 0.1%, to reach $63.30 a barrel, reported Reuters.

The US Federal Reserve’s assurance of maintaining low interest rates has boosted global financial markets and risk appetite for investors.

ING analysts were cited by the news agency as saying: “Comments from Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell earlier in the week relating to the need for monetary policy to remain accommodative have probably helped, but sentiment in the oil market has also become more bullish, with expectations for a tightening oil balance.”

The Energy Information Administration said that crude production in the US dropped by more than 10%, or one million barrels per day (bpd) last week, following the winter storm in Texas.

A meeting is due to be held by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, on 4 March to discuss the easing of oil supply kerbs from April subject to recovery in prices, the news agency reported citing OPEC+ sources.

Saudi Arabia also committed to making voluntary cuts in February and March to tighten global supplies and sustain current prices.

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