Oil prices advanced on Wednesday on the back of a weaker dollar, while
joined the ranks of major oil companies reporting record profits.
Brent crude, the international standard, rose 1% to $84.53 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.3% to $78.12 a barrel. Both contracts climbed more than 3% on Tuesday.
Energy prices were bolstered by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that traders interpreted as leaving the door open to ending the central bank’s campaign of interest-rate increases. That raised optimism about energy demand this year and weakened the dollar, which makes oil contracts priced in the U.S. currency more affordable for overseas buyers.
The surge in crude prices last year after Russia invaded Ukraine has been a boon for big oil companies. France’s TotalEnergies (ticker: TTE) became the latest to report record profits for the year, double the previous year’s take. Norway’s state-backed
(EQNR) also posted record profits on Wednesday. They join
(CVX) in recording their highest-ever earnings.
That prompted President Joe Biden to single out oil companies in his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, calling it “outrageous” that they made so much money while the world experienced an energy crisis. He also called for additional taxes on stock buybacks.
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