U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures posted a strong gain this week, underpinned by a number of factors. The buying was strong enough to drive the market into its highest level since March 7 at $54.14, before sellers came in to stop the rally and buyers backed away from buying strength.
June WTI crude oil closed the week at $53.40, up $0.76 or +1.44%.
Crude oil started the week with a strong surge on reports of another shutdown at Libya’s largest oilfield over the weekend and geopolitical concerns following last week’s U.S. missile strike on Syria.
Reuters reported that Libya’s Sharara oilfield was shut on April 9 after a group blocked a pipeline linking it to an oil terminal. This was the second time in two weeks that this field had been shut down. Earlier in the month, the oil field returned to production after a week-long stoppage.
The outage in Libya came on the heels of an already excited market. The previous Friday, the United States had fired missiles at a Syrian government air base in a show of force. The move did not cause any supply disruptions, but it did make investors nervous over a possible retaliation from Iran or Russia.
Throughout the week, tensions remained high based on the rhetoric between the United States and Russia.
U.S. – Russia relations are at a “low point” and need to be improved, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on April 12 in a joint news conference in Moscow…