Brent crude oil rises for a sixth day as supplies tighten amid strong demand

Brent crude oil futures climbed to as high as $75.20 a barrel in early trading on Tuesday, the highest since Nov. 27, 2014. (Reuters)
Updated 24 April 2018
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Brent crude oil rises for a sixth day as supplies tighten amid strong demand

  • US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents
  • The potential of renewed US sanctions against Iran is pushing prices higher

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil rose for sixth day on Tuesday, passing $75 a barrel, on expectations that supplies will tighten because fuel is rising at the same time the US may impose sanctions against Iran and OPEC-led output cuts remain in place.
Brent crude oil futures climbed to as high as $75.20 a barrel in early trading on Tuesday, the highest since Nov. 27, 2014. Brent was still at $75 a barrel at 0311 GMT up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from its last close.
Brent’s six-day rising streak is the most since a similar string of gains in December and it is up by more than 20 percent from its 2018 low in February.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last settlement. On Thursday, WTI rose to as high as $69.56, the most since Nov. 28, 2014.
Markets have been lifted by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which were introduced in 2017 with the aim of propping up the market.
The potential of renewed US sanctions against Iran is also pushing prices higher.
Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA said new sanctions against Tehran “could push oil prices up as much as $5 per barrel.”
The US has until May 12 to decide whether it will leave the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions against OPEC’s third-largest producer, which would further tighten global supplies.
“Crude prices are now sitting at the highest levels in three years, reflecting ongoing concerns around geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which is the source of nearly half of the world’s oil supply,” ANZ bank said.
“Oil strength is coming from Saudi Arabia’s recent commitment to get oil back up to between $70 to $80 per barrel as well as inventory levels that are back in the normal range,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
OPEC’s supply curtailments and the threat of new sanctions are occurring just as demand in Asia, the world’s biggest oil consuming region, has risen to a record as new and expanded refineries start up from China to Vietnam.
One of the few factors that has limited oil prices from surging even more is US production, which has shot up by more than a quarter since mid-2016 to over 10.54 million barrels per day (bpd), taking it past Saudi Arabia’s output of around 10 million bpd.
As a result of its rising output, US crude is increasingly appearing on global markets, from Europe to Asia, undermining OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market.


Smart cities at the center of Dubai’s GITEX Technology week

Updated 14 October 2018
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Smart cities at the center of Dubai’s GITEX Technology week

  • The first day of the GITEX Technology week kicked off on Sunday
  • Exhibition centered around the “rise of smart cities”

DUBAI: The first day of the GITEX Technology week kicked off on Sunday in an exhibition that centered around the “rise of smart cities,” with innovation’s front runners from all around the world showcasing what they have to offer.
“We live in a world where all emerging tech is coming together, from blockchain, to drones to automation,” blockchain influencer, Kris Bennet (aka Blockchain Beard Guy) said during opening remarks at the forum, adding that “it’s all heading toward smart cities.”
Bennet also said: “We have seen more change happen in the past 10 years than we ever have.”
Sprawling across Dubai’s massive World Trade Center area, the GITEX stands range from young start-ups hoping to lure sponsors to well-established businesses staying ahead of their competitors with the latest innovations and solutions.
The 38th annual exhibition is split among several categories including, Gulf Comms & Mobility, Global Solution Providers, Smart Workplace & Smart Homes, Value Added Distributors, Printing & Automation, Consumer Tech, Enterprise Software, Network & Security, Future Tech and IOT Big Cloud Data.
One of the more crowded stands was that of digital creative development non-profit MUTEK AE. The stand was a large, white igloo structure standing at the edge of Za’abeel Hall 6 that, upon entering, turns into a journey of lights and sounds that transports visitors into another world.
“It’s bringing together technology and art in an immersive and interactive experience,” Micro MUTEK AE general and artistic director Mehdi Ansari said.
Many country’s pavilions were seen grouping several start-ups across the hall floors, with Lebanon, Bahrain, Japan and South Korea having a considerable presence — showcasing wide-ranging projects from Bluetooth headphones to diet food home deliveries.
GITEX Technology week runs from Oct. 14 — 18, with GITEX Future Stars taking place from the the 14th-17th.