Crude oil futures gained on Monday for the first time in three days after Saudi Aramco hinted at a strong demand recovery in Asia. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 1.8%, to $41.96 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, climbed 1.3% to $44.98 at intraday highs.
Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said Sunday he sees oil demand returning to pre-pandemic highs in Asia as economies reopen and activity resumes. Oil prices were also boosted by supply-side support in Iraq. The country said on Friday it would slash output by 400,000 barrels per day to prop up demand. The cut brings Iraq's production more in line with goals set out by OPEC+ earlier in the year.
WTI reached a five-month high on Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration reported a drop in crude inventories through the end of July. Both WTI and Brent trade just off last week's highs, but more positive signs could drive a strong uptrend through the fall, Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe, said in a note.