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February 6, 2019

Oil prices rise as investors focus on US State of the Union address

Oil prices have increased and investors are currently focusing on the US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

Oil prices have increased and investors are currently focusing on the US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

International Brent crude oil futures rose by seven cents at $62.05 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased eight cents at $53.74 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Prices have increased despite global economic concerns have recently weighed on market sentiment.

OANDA senior market analyst Alfonso Esparza was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Anything out of the State of the Union that hints at the US-China deal not working out, or more anti-trade rhetoric would be a negative for energy prices as demand would be lower if global growth keeps being downgraded.”

“Data published by the American Petroleum Institute highlighted an increase in the US crude stocks last week even after refineries boosted output.”

Due to sanctions imposed by the US on Venezuela’s oil firm PDVSA, oil prices gained support as global supplies became tightened.

The sanctions are aimed at preventing further diverting of Venezuela’s assets by President Nicolás Maduro.

Effective last month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, including Russia, agreed to reduce output to address back supply growth.

Data published by the American Petroleum Institute highlighted an increase in the US crude stocks last week even after refineries boosted output.

For the week ending 1 February, crude inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels to 448.2 million.

This is against analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.

API further added that crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub rose by 889,000 barrels.

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