Oil hits six-week high on inventory data, OPEC compliance, Iran worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) by Ayenat Mersie – Oil hit a six-week high on Wednesday, closing in on a 3-year peak set in late January, on a surprise decline in U.S. inventories, strong compliance on OPEC production cuts, and persistent concern related to the Iran nuclear deal. Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose $2.05, or 3 percent, to settle at $69.47, nearly a 7-week high. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 gained $1.63, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $65.17, their highest since Feb. 2. Those increases put both benchmarks into technically overbought territory for the first time since January, and boosted the premium of the Brent front-month over WTI to its highest since the start of February WTCLc1-LCOc1. Data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday morning showed a surprise 2.6 million barrel draw in crude inventories. Analysts had expected a 2.5 million barrel build. “A few things happened,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, referring to the EIA data. “Crude imports dropped by half a million barrels per day, that contributed to the draw. We saw refinery runs increase more than expected by around 400,000 barrels per day so that ate up a lot… continue reading

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