Oil prices firmed on Wednesday amid continued outages in the United States and a weaker dollar, even though US inventories last week rose unexpectedly. Brent crude futures gained $1.19, or 1.8%, to $66.56 a barrel at 1511 GMT, after hitting a session low of $64.80. US WTI crude futures were up $1.09, or 1.8%, at $62.76 a barrel, after trading as low as $60.97 earlier on Wednesday. Crude stockpiles rose by one million barrels in the week to Feb 19, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, against estimates for a draw of 5.2 million barrels in a Reuters’ poll. The data, however, showed a larger-than-expected 4.5-million-barrel fall in distillate fuels. “This morning, we have seen the oil complex oscillate in between gains and losses, but it has recently firmed on the back of a weaker US dollar,” StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2021.

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