OPEC sees higher 2018 oil demand, trims output

Global oil markets have started to rebalance

The American benchmark broke above the psychological level of US$50 a barrel on Thursday after a report from the International Energy Agency supported sustained global oil demand growth and noted a sense of rebalance coming back to the market.

"The red metal is under pressure today as there are reports of heavy selling from commodity funds".

Crude oil futures neared $50 a barrel Thursday morning, adding to weekly gains inspired by pent up demand from US refineries.

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But with oil demand perking up as well as hurricanes and regular summer maintenance knocking out some production, the IEA said it has seen some of that glut disappear.

Countries like France, China, India and Britain have disclosed plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars, which raised fears about the future of crude oil.

Iran Heavy, the country's main export grade and one of the 14 crudes of OPEC Reference Basket, traded at $48.70 per barrel last month, an increase of 5.8% from July.

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The demand increase by 2.3 million barrels per day (mb/d), or 2.4 percent, in the second quarter of the year 2017 instigation the Paris-based organization to upsurge its growth assessment for the year to 1.6 mb/d, or 1.7 percent.

Rising demand pushed USA crude above $50 a barrel on Thursday, while sterling jumped after the Bank of England said it was likely to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade in coming months.

OPEC on Tuesday forecast higher demand for its oil in 2018 and pointed to signs of a tighter global market, indicating its production-cutting deal with non-member countries is helping to tackle a supply glut that has weighed on prices. USA gasoline futures RBc1 extended declines on Thursday as demand was expected to slip due to the effects of Hurricane Irma on Florida and Georgia. If global supply is taken into account, global supply of oil fell in August by 720, 000 barrels per day.

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Also helping prices, demand for oil increased in the second quarter, largely driven by Germany and the US, according to the International Energy Agency. The cartel expects global consumption to rise by 1.42 million barrels per day this year and 1.35 million barrels per day next year, up 50,000 barrels per day and 70,000 barrels per day, respectively, from the previous projection.

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