Brent Set To Finish The Month Above $110
Brent was poised to finish the week above $110 as the commodity found support from a draw in US gasoline stocks and growing geopolitical tension around the world. The commodity shrugged off disappointing US economic figures and traded at $110.06 at 7:15 GMT on Friday morning.
The US Commerce Department released data on Thursday which showed that US GDP contracted by one percent in the first quarter.
The data was far below original expectations of a 0.1 percent rise and marked the first time the nation’s GDP contracted in three years. However, the poor data had little effect on the markets as most chalked the number up to the poor weather that caused several other disappointing economic reports last quarter.
Also out on Thursday was a report from the Energy Information Administration which showed that US gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.8 million barrels last week. The figure crushed expectations of a 300,000 barrel gain, proving that US driving season was getting off to a strong start.
Brent found further support from the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which looks to be worsening. CNBC reported that 13 soldiers and one general were killed when pro-Moscow separatists gunned down an army helicopter. Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroschenko vowed to crush the rebellion after being elected in May 25th, and has sent further military support to the eastern part of the nation.
Libyan oil exports remained depressed as the nation continued to struggle with a conflict between rebel groups and the nation’s government. However, the disruption from Africa was mitigated by reports of rising Middle Eastern supplies. The International Energy Agency estimated that Iranian oil exports increased by 1.1 million barrels from April to May.
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