The Star Malaysia - StarBiz

Oil’s best ever start to the year dented


NEW YORK: Oil’s record start to 2021 was under pressure from a selloff in bond markets that spooked risky assets.

While crude futures declined yesterday, global benchmark Brent has rallied to its best ever start to a year. Next week, the Organisati­on of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies will meet to decide on output levels, with market gauges indicating strength.

The market is also facing an escalation in Middle East tension after the US carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria on sites connected to Iran-backed groups.

A pocket of Chinese demand may slow, however, after its oil storage neared capacity following a buying spree of cheap crude last year.

Opec+ will meet amid an atmosphere of buoyant optimism in the outlook for demand, with traders and investment banks this week making a series of bullish calls and upward price revisions.

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