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US crude oil prices edged higher on Thursday as a weak dollar and US weekly inventory data offered support, with the market poised for more policy maker fireworks from Davos, where US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin will speak later in the day in an expected follow up to his weak greenback comments overnight.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit a session high of $71.05 per barrel – the highest since early December 2014 – before dipping back to $70.99 by 0440 GMT. That was still up 46 cents, or 0.7 percent from the last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed to $66.35 per barrel, also the highest level since early December 2014, before dipping to $66.26. That was still up 1 percent from the last settlement.
U.S. crude inventories fell 1.1 million barrels in the week to Jan. 19th, 2018, to 411.58 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday. That is the lowest seasonal level since 2015 and below the five-year average of about 420 million barrels.
U.S. output has grown by more than 17 percent since mid-2016, and is now on par with that of top exporter Saudi Arabia. Only Russia produces more, averaging 10.98 million bpd in 2017.
On the technical charts WTI crude is testing the upper band of the Bollinger bands and trading above all the moving averages (9day, 20 day, 50 day, 100 day and 200 day). The RSI is at 76.62 and the MACD is above the signal line.
Buy digital Call options between 66.24 and 67, valid until 23:00 GMT January 25th 2018