Oil Prices Reach $45
Oil prices hit six-month high
Oil prices edged higher Wednesday, touching highs not seen in about six months, as the commodity maintained momentum amid signs that a global surplus is easing.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.8% to $44.82 at 7:28 a.m., while Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 1.8% to $46.57.
The commodity has gotten a boost in recent weeks from market confidence that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia will freeze production at current levels, while U.S. production levels off.
On Wednesday, several reports that the American Petroleum Institute had said U.S. oil inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels last week gave the commodity another jolt.
Any sign that inventories are being used up is viewed as a positive sign for energy producers that have been ailing during oil's slide.
Still, even the most financially resilient oil companies can't escape the crisis without sustaining some damage. Oil giant Exxon Mobil on Tuesday lost its pristine AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's in a reflection of the market's sharp downturn.