Oil prices exceed $42 a barrel on Mar. 18, a high for 2016.
Despite reaching 12-year lows in December, oil prices have climbed by more than 50 percent in the past few months, according to Reuters. This comes amid the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries alluding to a production freeze. The surge in prices boosted Brent crude from $27 and U.S. crude from nearly $26.
Oil market analyst Olivier Jakob predicts Brent prices will remain steady around the mid $40-range.
Oil has seen its strongest monthly gain since April 2015 this month, up 17.5 percent, and is heading into a fifth week of steady growth.
The rising price of oil is expected to continue thanks to seasonal demand as well as the weakness of the dollar. The 3.2 percent drop in the dollar index this month makes oil – priced in U.S. dollars – cheaper for those dealing in other currencies.
In early March, U.S. commercial crude inventories were up by 3.9 million barrels, keeping the total inventory at historically high levels given the time of year, according to 24/7 Wall St. Reporting on recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the source stated that the total inventory currently stands at 521.9 million barrels.