Associate editorial director, Asia & Middle East Oil News & Analysis, S&P Global Platts
After a tumultuous year- end, oil prices have been clawing their way up since the start of 2019 and the trend is expected to continue, supported by declining supply and a modest rebound in market sentiment.
Front-month ICE Brent crude futures hit both the highest and lowest levels for 2018 during the fourth quarter last year. The European crude benchmark had surged to a near 4-year high of US$86.74 per barrel on Oct. 3, before crashing more than 40 percent to briefly trade below the $50 mark on Dec. 26.
The Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai, a key price tracked by Asian importers, also posted a sharp decline during Q4 last year. The S&P Global Platts second-month Dubai swap tumbled 41 percent from the 2018 peak of $82.85 per barrel assessed on Oct. 4 to $49.04 on Dec. 26.
But prices have since rebounded, largely driven by p...
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