International oil prices hit a nine-month high Today, December 16, after the data from the US government showed that its crude stockpiles declined last week and on optimism over a coronavirus relief package in the United States.
Notably, Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up by 28 cents or 0.6 percent to USD51.36 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 27 cents or 0.6 percent to USD48.09 a barrel. Both the benchmarks hit their highest since early March.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, US crude inventories declined by 3.1-mln barrels in the week ended 11 December. Further, one-day ago, the Federal Reserve said that it would stick with its policy of low-interest rates while the US legislators moved closer to agreeing on an additional USD900 billion of COVID-19 aid, including USD600 to USD700 stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits. These measures to aid economic growth helped push oil prices higher.