Oil prices hit fresh highs, but worries grow of overheated market

Oil prices hit fresh highs, but worries grow of overheated market



Crude oil prices hit new multi-year highs on Wednesday as OPEC-led production cuts and healthy demand helped to balance the market, but analysts warned of possible overheating.

A broad, global market rally, including stocks, has also been fuelling investment into crude oil futures. [MKTS/GLOB]

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.60 a barrel, up 64 cents, at 1259 GMT. Earlier prices rose to $63.67, the highest since Dec. 9, 2014.

Brent crude futures were at $69.33 a barrel, 51 cents above their last close. Brent earlier hit $69.37, the highest since May 2015.

“We’re still drawing U.S. stocks and that continues to support a very positive sentiment,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of PetroMatrix.

He noted that physical Brent was above $70 per barrel – a psychologically important level.

“It will trigger some increased discussion within OPEC,” Jakob said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, together with Russia and a group of other producers, last November extended an output-cutting deal to cover all of 2018.

The cuts were aimed at reducing a global supply overhang that had dogged oil markets since 2014.

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