FILE PHOTO: The moon rises behind the storage tanks of a local oil refinery in Omsk, Russia June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday, hitting their highest levels in more than two years, supported by economic recovery and the prospect of fuel demand growth as vaccination campaigns in developed countries accelerate.
Brent rose 34 cents to $73.03 a barrel by 12:56 p.m. EDT (1656 GMT). Earlier in the session, it reached $73.64 a barrel, its highest since April 2019.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 27 cents to $71.18 a barrel. It hit a session high of $71.78 a barrel, its highest since October 2018.
“The two leading crude markers are trading at (almost) two-and-a-half-year highs amid a potent bullish cocktail of demand optimism and OPEC+ supply cuts,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
“This backdrop of strengthening oil fundamentals have helped underpin heightened levels of trading activity.”
Motor vehicle traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels in North America and much of Europe, and more planes are in the air as anti-coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictions are being eased, driving three weeks of increases for the oil benchmarks.