Oil prices rose on Monday to their highest in just over a year, with Brent futures nudging past $60 a barrel, boosted by supply cuts among key producers and hopes for further US economic stimulus measures to boost demand.
Brent crude for April touched an intraday high of $60.06 a barrel, the highest since January last year. The front-month contract was at $59.98 by 0537 GMT, up 64 cents, or 1.1 per cent.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for March advanced 65 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $57.50 a barrel, the highest since January last year.
Crude has been on the rise for weeks as Biden pushes his $1.9 trillion rescue package, which includes big cash handouts and a hike in the minimum wage.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that if the spending package was passed in its entirety, “we would get back to full employment next year”.
Adding to the upbeat mood is data showing new infection rates, with last week seeing the lowest since October, while governments begin to get to grips with inoculations. Hopes for the long-term outlook overshadowed figures showing a rise in US inventories.
“Oil traders ignore the sidelines’ spare capacity and continue to take an optimistic view of the US reopening narrative as vaccination protocols should continue to flatten the curve and with the gale-force stimulus tailwinds supporting a spring break reopening, (it’s) providing rocket-fuelled optimism for the oil market,” said Axi strategist Stephen Innes.