Oil prices edge up on stimulus support despite ample supplies
Oil prices nudged up on Monday, with Brent futures set to post a fifth straight monthly gain, as global stimulus measures underpin prices even as demand struggles to return to pre-COVID levels in a well supplied market.
Brent crude futures for November climbed 27 cents, or 0.6%, to $46.08 a barrel by 0038 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $43.11 a barrel, up 14 cents, or 0.3%, Reuters reported.
Brent is set to close out August with a fifth successive monthly price rise, having peaked at $46.23 a barrel on Aug. 5, the highest level since March. WTI is on track for a fourth monthly rise, reaching $43.78 a barrel on Aug. 26 when Hurricane Laura struck.
Oil markets largely shrugged off the hurricane’s impact on Friday as energy companies continued efforts to restore operations at U.S. Gulf Coast offshore platforms and refineries shut before the storm.
A weak U.S. dollar has supported oil prices even though fuel demand has struggled to recover amid the coronavirus pandemic and supplies remain excessive, although crude may face hurdles going forward, analysts said.
Higher oil and gas prices are also encouraging U.S. producers to resume drilling as the country’s oil and gas rig count rose by three to 254 in August, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co.