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News: Brent crude on the up amid dollar weakness

  1. Brent crude was back on the front foot after a 48-hour hiatus, rising 2% on Thursday to trade at US$55.

    The minor rebound follows more record high crude stockpile stats, and was helped along by a weaker dollar and more signals that oil companies are slimming down operations.

    As the dollar weakens the cost of buying crude reduces for international buyers.

    In London trading Brent Crude gained 2% to almost US$56 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediary futures moved 2.5% to trade back above US$50.

    Given the volatility of recent weeks there could still be some very active trading today, before the expiry of the March futures contracts at the end of the session.

    Stats from the US Department of Energy revealed a near 5mln barrel rise in the US crude stockpile to 417.9mln barrels.

    Across the sector there are a number of supply disruptions which may help free up some of the surpluses, though they are largely temporary.

    On-going strike action is impact upon some US refineries, while weather conditions in Kuwait have reportedly caused disruption to export shipments. Elsewhere, stats from Iraq revealed a drop in exports to 2.5mln barrels per day from 2.9mln barrels.

    French oil major Total today revealed a 17% fall in quarterly income, and it announced plans to sell assets valued at US$5bn.

    It will also take the axe to its operation at the Lindsey refinery in Lincolnshire, where it intends to scale back and cut 180 jobs.


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