Oman crude jumps 3% as Brent rises to $70

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Brent crude rose as much as 2.3 per cent to US$70.21 a barrel at London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent prices gained 2.3 percent on the day, its largest daily percentage gain since March 21. Gold edged up to $US1,343 an ounce, but oil jumped more than 3% to the highest level since December 2014 for the key Brent global indicator.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 1.62 per cent at $64.45 a barrel.

"This has been another huge day", said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago. While it may be tough to finger one specific catalyst, the weaker dollar, followed by geopolitical unrest over Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Syria, N Korea, and of course China, are likely culminating in somewhat of a flawless storm, helping to lift oil prices.

Global markets were trading in positive territory today after China's President Xi Jinping vowed to continue opening the Chinese economy in a speech today, which bolstered oil prices.

Both the WTI and the Brent benchmarks were trading up on Tuesday by nearly 3 percent, with Brent reaching the psychologically important $70 threshold shortly after 9:00am EST.

Middle East tensions also supported prices, said Phillip Streible, analyst at RJO Futures in Chicago.


Concerns surrounding the implications of heightened conflict in Syria, whose main ally is Russian Federation, drove oil prices higher, analysts said. "The odds of a coordinated response to the chemical-weapon attack in Syria (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-issues-warning-after-dozens-killed-in-apparent-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-2018-04-08) is making short selling more unsafe".

Departures from the accord would result in renewed sanctions against Iran, which would hurt its oil industry.

As the leading crude oil importer and the world's biggest energy consumer, China acts as a major determiner of global oil prices. The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies, hitting its lowest in almost two weeks.

Meanwhile, oil prices were also supported by the dollar weakness on Tuesday as a softer greenback makes dollar-priced oil more attractive for holders of other currencies.

The American Petroleum Institute will publish storage data later on Tuesday while the U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its monthly report on U.S. production. Analysts anticipated a decline in crude and gasoline inventories.

Oil has struggled after touching a high of more than $66 a barrel in March as investors worry that tit-for-tat tariff increases between the USA and China could hurt wider economic growth and curb energy demand.

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