Oil Holds Ground at Highest in Month after 3Session Climb

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Oil futures inched higher on Thursday, on track to score a fourth climb in a row, with prices holding ground at their highest levels since mid March after upbeat monthly oil demand forecasts and a weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories.

Demand optimism continues to be a key componentwith recent data out of the U.S. showing highway traffic exceeding preCOVID levels, said Robbie Fraser, manager, global research analytics at Schneider Electric.

Traders have also kept an eye on ongoing talks on a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. A recent attack on Irans nuclearlinked infrastructure is set to complicate any further talks around a U.S. return to the Iranian nuclear deal, he said in a daily market update. The attack is viewed as likely delaying any timeline for Iran to develop nuclear weapons, but has also prompted Iran to pursue uranium enrichment at weapons grade levels in response.

For now, the lack of any clear path to a quick deal keeps 2 million barrels a day of Iranian oil exports off the global market, said Fraser.

On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery added 19 cents, or 0.3, at 63.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after rising 4.9 on Wednesday to end at the highest level since March 17, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Global benchmark June Brent crude picked up 23 cents, or 0.4, to trade at 66.81 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Prices for WTI and Brent crude looked to notch a fourth straight session rise….

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