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Business

July 18, 2017

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Oil stable

Oil stable

Singapore

Oil prices strengthened on Monday, supported by a slowdown in the growth of rigs looking for crude in the United States and because of strong refinery demand from China. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $49.04 per barrel at 0353 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.64 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent. Both crudes extended gains from strong performances last week.

Traders and analysts said the rising prices were a result of strong demand as well as signs that a relentless climb in U.S. oil production was slowing down. "The slowing pace of increases combined with massive drawdowns last week on both official crude inventory numbers from the U.S. probably explains the positive sentiment in general at the moment," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

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