NEW YORK: Rising demand pushed US crude above $50 a barrel on Thursday, while sterling jumped after the Bank of England said it was likely to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade in coming months.
Energy shares climbed on Wall Street and in Europe but stocks were mixed worldwide; a gauge of global equity indexes was slightly lower, including the benchmark S&P 500 in the United States, while the Dow and major European indexes rose.
US crude jumped 1.93 percent to $50.25 a barrel and Brent was at $55.79, up 1.14 percent on the day.
Brent has now climbed more than $10 a barrel over the past three months and is close to where it was at the beginning of the year, trading between about $55 and $57 a barrel.
“Stronger demand and supply restrictions from OPEC and Russia are the main reasons for the oil price upsurge,” said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that oil prices were likely to stay between $50 and $60 as major producers kept output restricted.
Meanwhile, the new guidance from the Bank of England pushed sterling to a one-year high against the US dollar as investors priced in a more than 50 percent chance of a rate hike before the year’s end.
The central bank said its tolerance for above-target inflation was lessening even if Britain’s departure from the European Union remained a risk. Data this week showed British prices rising faster and unemployment falling to a four-decade low.
Sterling was last trading at $1.3375, up 1.26 percent on the day.
Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 share index fell sharply after the BoE warning, which followed a monetary policy meeting, and closed down 1.14 percent to lows last seen in May.
ENERGY SHARES RISE
Energy stocks helped put the Dow in positive territory as Exxon Mobil rose 0.22 percent to $79.93 while Chevron gained 0.25 percent to $114.47.
Also giving the Dow a boost was Boeing, which rose 1.3 percent after Deutsche Bank raised its price target.
In Europe, Italy’s ENI rose 1.03 percent and France’s Total gained 0.46 percent, helping lift the EURO STOXX 50 index of leading EU shares.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.08 percent while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.17 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.67 points, or 0.08 percent, to 22,176.85, the S&P 500 lost 1.85 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,496.52 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.65 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,446.54.
The dollar index fell 0.24 percent, with the euro down 0.01 percent to $1.1884.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.18 percent versus the greenback at 110.68 per dollar,
US Treasury yields briefly extended their rise with the 10-year yield touching a three-week peak following data that showed a faster-than-forecast 0.4 percent increase in domestic consumer prices in August.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 1/32 in price to yield 2.1918 percent.—Reuters