Crude prices soar on decline in USA inventories

Saudis see oil on rise as Trump blasts OPEC

Technical indicators show that the price Saudi Arabia is said to be aiming for may be within reach, with global benchmark Brent crude already above $74 a barrel.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia would be happy to see crude rise to $80 or even $100 a barrel, three industry sources said, a sign Riyadh will seek no changes to an OPEC supply-cutting deal even though the agreement's original target is within sight.

Brent for June settlement climbed $1.90 to end the session at $73.48 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose as high as $68.91 per barrel for a daily gain of 3.6 percent and reached its highest level since December 2, 2014.

An Energy Information Administration report showed shrinking American petroleum surpluses and the first crude withdrawal from the largest US storage complex in six weeks.

The main reasons for the hike is a report that US crude inventories have declined.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and several other producers began to reduce supply in January 2017 in an attempt to erase a glut.

World oil prices extended Wednesday┬┤s gains on the back of data showing a drop in USA stockpiles - indicating improved demand - and expectations that a Russia-OPEC output cap deal will be kept in place.

Brent crude oil futures also hit a new intraday high going back to November 2014.

Global resource stocks were the winners from Thursday's higher in prices.

"If oil prices were to move toward $80 a barrel and euro weakened a bit, there could be some inflation pressure", said Rabobank's head of macro strategy Elwin de Groot.

"Some of this restricted (Opec) oil production might start to return to the market", he added. United States gasoline stocks fell by 2.968 million barrels to 235.967 million barrels, while distillate stocks fell 3.107 million barrels to 125.34 million barrels.

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, told CNBC on Thursday that "oil prices are high because the dollar is low" and warned that "massive supply management" has always been likely to lead to an "artificial" jump in the price of oil.

The cuts have been even bigger than those specified in the deal, thanks in part to a slide in Venezuelan production due to an economic crisis in the South American country.

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