NYMEX crude edged up to trade above $62 per barrel after a sharp 2.1% gain on Wednesday. Crude has tested the highest level since mid-2015.
Crude has benefitted from supply concerns amid ongoing tensions in Iran. Civil unrest in Iran continued for the sixth day fuelling concerns that supply may be affected. Iran is OPEC's third biggest crude oil producer and production stood at 3.8 million barrels per day in December. However, Bloomberg tracking services indicate that no supply has been affected from Iran so far.
Crude has also risen on decline in US crude oil stocks. API noted a 4.99 million barrels decline in US crude oil stocks. However, it was largely in line with market expectations of 4.5 mn bbl rise. API also noted an increase in gasoline stocks which was in line with expectations. API also noted an unexpected increase in distillate stocks.
Crude rose also as US equity market hit fresh record high levels. However, US economic optimism also pushed US dollar higher. The US dollar index rose 0.3% yesterday and is trading little changed today.
Crude rose despite reports that supply from North Sea and Libya have improved after last month's disruption. US monthly crude production has also risen to the highest level since 1970's.