NEW YORK – Nov. 18 (UPI) ─ A rare sign of growing demand gave energy markets a boost in early Wednesday trading, with crude oil indices gaining at least a full percentage point.
Crude oil prices snapped a streak of declines that followed a shift to market fundamentals following last week’s terrorist attacks on Paris and Beirut. The price for Brent crude oil increased 1.6 percent to $44.27 in early Wednesday trading. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price for crude oil, rallied in parity with Brentto start the day at $41.32.
Data released from the American Petroleum Institute show crude oil inventories in the United States posted a historically rare decline.
Income growth, coupled with slow economic momentum, offset some of the consumer stimulus from lower crude oil prices. Nevertheless, Motor club AAA said it expects about 46.9 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the highest since 2007.
“While many people remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many thankful Americans continue to put a premium on traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones,” AAA President and Chief Executive Marshall Doney said in a statement.
Lower demand and an increase in supplies have put negative pressure on crude oil prices for more than a year.
Wednesday’s rally may be short-lived, however, as broader economic concerns linger. Alan Bollard, executive director for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, was quoted as saying by China’s official Xinhua News Agency that growth was apparent, but it was anemic.
“Economies across the Asia-Pacific continue to grow but find themselves in a holding pattern of lower growth in the absence of high trade volumes,” he said.