Oil was steady at the open of trading in Asia after settling at the highest since October 2018 as investors assessed the demand outlook.
Futures in New York traded near $69 a barrel after capping a second straight weekly gain on Friday following a raft of bullish calls on the market. OPEC+ appears in control of crude prices as U.S. production is lagging pre-pandemic levels, a senior executive at major oil trader Vitol Group said Sunday. The alliance is returning supply after output cuts helped to tighten the market.
A robust rebound from the pandemic in the U.S., China and Europe has driven prices more than 40% higher this year, although the Covid-19 comeback across Asia is a reminder that the recovery will be uneven. Russia’s Rosneft PJSC, meanwhile, warned of an impending shortfall in supply as global producers increasingly channel funds into a “hasty” energy transition.
The market has firmed in a bullish structure. The prompt timespread for Brent was 41 cents in backwardation — where near-dated contracts are more expensive than later-dated ones. That compares with 37 cents a week earlier.