Crude Oil Rally Continues

Crude Oil Rally ContinuesCrude Oil Rally Continues

US crude jumped to the highest level in more than 10 months on Wednesday, rising for the third consecutive session, buoyed by ongoing supply disruptions in Nigeria and strong Chinese oil demand data.

US crude futures climbed 69 cents to $51.05 a barrel, having earlier hit $51.12, the highest level since July. Global benchmark Brent crude futures rose to 76 cents at $52.20 a barrel, after striking a high going back to Oct. 12, CNBC reported.

Industry data had also shown a larger-than-expected drop in US crude inventories on Tuesday, indicating an easing of the supply glut, as well as a weak dollar that also boosted prices.

"The market sentiment is positive; the trend and the momentum points to further gains," said Carsten Fritsch, commodities analyst at Commerzbank.

Supply disruptions caused by a string of attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers militant group in Nigeria have brought the oil exporter's production to the lowest in 20 years.

The group said on Wednesday it had attacked another oil well owned by US oil group Chevron, adding to assaults on oil infrastructure owned by Shell and ENI.

Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said output had dropped to between 1.5-1.6 million barrels per day, down from 2.2 million bpd at the start of the year.

At the same time, Chinese trade data showed on Wednesday that its May crude oil imports made the biggest year-on-year jump in more than six years, adding to hopes that the economy of the world's second-largest oil user may be stabilizing.