NEW YORK - The best thing going for oil producers is that the world still needs millions of barrels of it everyday.
Even as factories shut down and consumption falters, investors continue to buy crude stocks on the expectation that the world’s petroleum appetite will eventually return.
Benchmark crude for May delivery on Friday added 35 cents to settle at $50.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. With the May contract ending next week, traders focused on crude stocks with a later delivery under the June contract.
Crude for June delivery also increased 31 cents to settle at $52.47 a barrel.
“There’s still a lot of money out there that has to go somewhere,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “They see it as a good buy long term.”
Investors see oil stocks as the ultimate safe haven, a commodity that will almost certainly be in greater demand next year. That’s what has kept prices aloft this week despite daily reports showing the world economy is running on less oil, not more.