Oil futures rallied on Wednesday as reported declines in Iranian exports due to pending U.S. oil sanctions, and uncertainty surrounding the ability of other major oil producers to make up for the loss, lifted U.S. and global prices back to nearly four-year highs. The strong gains came despite data from the U.S. government which revealed the largest weekly rise of the year in domestic crude inventories. “The market is having problems reconciling the supply risk from Iran and questions about how much Saudis will pump and a bearish report,” James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics, told MarketWatch. November West Texas Intermediate oil CLX8, +1.48% rose $1.18, or 1.6%, to settle at $76.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest finish for a front-month contract since November 2014, according to FactSet data.
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