Crude oil prices hovered near multi-year highs on Thursday, supported by falling US crude stocks, which limited the impact of a stronger US dollar.
Brent crude oil futures fell 12 cents, or 0.1%, to $ 74.27 a barrel by 1332 GMT. In the previous meeting, they reached their highest level since April 2019.
U.S. crude oil futures rose 3 cents, or 0.04%, to $ 72.18 a barrel after hitting their high since October 2018 the previous day.
The US dollar appreciated against a basket of other currencies after the Federal Reserve signaled it could hike rates much faster than expected.
A firmer greenback makes the price of oil more expensive in dollars in other currencies, which can hurt demand.
Energy Information Administration data showed that US crude oil inventories at the world’s largest consumer declined sharply last week as refineries ramped up to their highest level since January 2020, suggesting a continued improvement in demand.
Refining throughput in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, also increased prices, rising 4.4% to a record high in May compared to the same month last year.
The world’s largest oil traders announced this week that oil prices will remain above $ 70 a barrel, with demand expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2022.
Iran goes to the presidential elections on Friday, with hardline justice chief Ebrahim Raisi among the frontrunners.
“The outcome of tomorrow’s presidential elections in Iran should also support the oil price … A quick return of Iranian oil exports is questionable,” said Commerzbank in a press release.