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Oil’s advance through $50 a barrel in line with a softer dollar is energising the commodity sector, but bourses are otherwise under pressure as the latest global rally struggles to maintain momentum.
After a mixed Asia-Pacific session, the pan-European Stoxx 600 equity index is slipping 0.2 per cent while US futures point to the S&P 500 easing 0.1 per cent to 2,088.
The cautious mood in stocks is encouraging buyers of government bonds, nudging down Treasury yields. The gold price is higher, and so is the yen.
Brent crude, the international energy benchmark is up 0.7 per cent to $50.09 a barrel, the highest level since November, while West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, is adding 0.7 per cent to $49.89.
Oil’s fresh burst of strength, which continues its recovery from January’s 12-year low around $27, comes amid hopes that a global oversupply glut is easing following supply disruptions in Canada and Nigeria, evidence of improving demand, and news this week that US crude stockpiles fell more than expected.
Brent crude, the international energy benchmark is up 0.7 per cent to $50.09 a barrel, the highest level since November, while West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, is adding 0.7 per cent to $49.89.
Oil’s fresh burst of strength, which continues its recovery from January’s 12-year low around $27, comes amid hopes that a global oversupply glut is easing following supply disruptions in Canada and Nigeria, evidence of improving demand, and news this week that US crude stockpiles fell more than expected.

Oil’s rebound has lifted broader market sentiment of late by bolstering the resources sector and reducing concerns about banks’ exposure to problem energy-related loans. Crude’s bounce has also eased fears that oil-producing nations may be forced to sell assets from investment portfolios in order to raise funds.
Strength in commodity stocks — alongside a rally for banks and signs that investors are returning to big technology momentum plays — has been a major factor behind the S&P 500 on Wall Street and the Stoxx 600 hitting four-week highs on Wednesday.
Traders cite little more than some “top of the range” profit-taking behind equity markets’ mild pullback on Thursday.
Investors also appear to have become more sanguine about the prospects for further interest rate rises this year by the US Federal Reserve, an issue upon which moves in the energy market are having an impact, according to Richard Turnill, chief investment strategist at BlackRock.