Oil edged higher for a sixth consecutive day amid improved investor sentiment following a surge in Chinese crude purchases and hopes that U.S. inflation is cooling.
West Texas Intermediate rose above $78 a barrel, putting the commodity on course for its longest run of daily gains since February, while equities also rose. With American inflation easing, investor focus has now been diverted to inflation data to be released on Thursday. Should the data meet analysts’ forecasts, this would ease the pressure being placed on the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates.
Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates, noted, “The mood is unreservedly upbeat. But let us remember: it can turn sour as quickly as it has improved if inflationary pressure proves entrenched.”
Investor confidence has also been boosted by China’s bumper order of crude from the U.S. this week. With many retaining a bullish sentiment over the long term, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. stated on Wednesday that it expects crude to hit $110 per barrel by the third quarter following the reopening of the Chinese economy.