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Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher

Crude oil prices moved higher on Thursday amid optimism about the outlook for energy demand despite concerns about a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Asian countries, especially India.

A drop in U.S. petroleum product supplies, signs of stronger demand for oil in the U.S. and some other big countries amid an improved outlook for Covid vaccinations supported oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up by $1.15 or about 1.8% at $65.01 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were up $1.33 or about 2% at $68.11 a barrel a little while ago.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs expects global oil demand to realize the biggest jump ever over the next six months as vaccination rates accelerate.

Citi analysts expect vaccination campaigns in North America and Europe to boost oil demand to a record high of 101.5 million barrels per day (bpd) over the northern hemisphere summer months.

However, they are of the view that rising COVID-19 cases in Brazil and India could hit local demand if stricter lockdowns are reimposed.

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