Oil futures top $95 per barrel for the first time in a year

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Oil futures topped $95 per barrel for the first time in a year, as traders react to dwindling inventories.

  • The lead West Texas Intermediate contract

    rose 14 cents to $93.82, having hit a high of $95.03.

  • Brent
    the global benchmark, rose as high as $97.69.

The Energy Information Administration reported that crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla. delivery hub fell to under 22 million barrels. Analysts at Saxo Bank say that is close to operational minimums and lowest since the seasonal lows of 2014.

“Market focus is shifting back to the tightening in the physical market, which outweighs a weakening risk appetite amid broader market jitters,” said UBS analysts led by Henri Patricot.

The drop in U.S. inventories comes as Saudi Arabia and Russia have extended their production cuts until the end of the year.

“Heading into winter, worries about supply tightness may continue pushing prices north, but whether this will evolve into a long-lasting uptrend is questionable. The challenges facing China and Europe, the two largest oil consumers in the world behind the US, could further dent demand, something that may start being reflected in prices at some point in the future,” said Charalampos Pissouros, senior investment analyst at XM.

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