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Crude oil jumps 4% as US gasoline prices are at record highs

Oil prices rose about 4% on Friday as US petrol prices jumped to record highs, China appeared to ease pandemic restrictions and investors worried that supplies would tighten if the EU banned Russian oil.

Brent futures rose $ 4.10 or 3.8% to settle at $ 111.55 per share. barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $ 4.36, or 4.1%, to settle at $ 110.49.

It was the highest close for WTI since March 25 and its third weekly rise in a row. Brent fell for the first time in three weeks.

U.S. gasoline futures rose to a record high after stocks fell last week for the sixth week in a row. It increased the spread of gasoline – a measure of refining profit margins – to its highest level since breaking a record in April 2020, when the WTI ended in negative territory. [EIA/S]

“There has been no increase in (US) gasoline storage since March,” said Robert Yawger, CEO of Energy Futures at Mizuho, ‚Äč‚Äčnoting that demand for gasoline is poised to rise as the summer driving season kicks off this weekend with the US Memorial Day.

The U.S. 3: 2: 1 spread, another measure of refining margins that include gasoline and diesel, rose to a record according to Refinitive data dating back to May 2021.

Car Club AAA said U.S. prices at the pump rose to record highs of $ 4.43 per gallon. gallons for gasoline and $ 5.56 for diesel.

Oil prices have been volatile, supported by concerns about a possible EU ban on Russian oil could tighten supplies, but pressured by fears that a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic could cut global demand.

“An EU embargo, if fully adopted, could take around 3 million bpd (barrels per day) of Russian oil offline, which would completely disrupt and ultimately change global trade flows, triggering market panic and extreme price volatility,” Rystad said. Energy analyst. Louise Dickson.

This week, Moscow struck sanctions against several European energy companies, raising concerns about supplies. [NG/EU]

In China, authorities promised to support the economy, and city officials said Shanghai would begin easing coronavirus traffic restrictions and opening stores this month.

“Crude prices rose because of optimism that China’s COVID situation did not worsen and then risky assets rose again,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at data and analytics firm OANDA.

Global stocks rose after a volatile week of trading, pushing up US and European stock indices.

Pending oil prices over the week, inflation and interest rate hikes propelled the US dollar to a nearly 20-year high against a basket of currencies, making oil more expensive when bought in other currencies.

The EU said there was enough progress to resume nuclear talks with Iran. The United States said it appreciated the EU’s efforts, but said there was still no agreement and no assurance that one could be reached. [nL2N2X51LE]

Analysts said a deal with Iran could add another 1 million bpd of oil supply to the market.

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