Global crude oil prices jumped about 3% in Friday's session, hitting their highest levels since before the onset of the Covid crisis, which means bad news for Irish businesses and households who will face higher energy costs.
Prices gushed after a stronger-than-expected US jobs numbers which suggest the major economy would rebound quickly and also came after a decision by Opec and its allies not to increase supply.
The US payroll report "shows that Americans are closer to pre-pandemic behaviour that will drive strong demand for crude," said Edward Moya at Oanda in New York.
Brent surged $2.10 to $68.84 a barrel, and for the week the global benchmark was up almost 4%, putting it on track to rise for a seventh week in a row. Some forecasters revised their price expectations upwards.
Goldman Sachs raised its Brent crude price forecast to $80 a barrel in the third quarter and UBS raised its forecast to $75 a barrel. Global crude oil price increases in recent weeks are already showing up in higher energy bills in Ireland.
It takes about two weeks of sustained crude oil price hikes to show up in higher distilled prices at the pump in Ireland and a little longer for energy bills, depending on the price of other fuels, including gas.