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Julian Lee

Hot Money's Pushing Oil to $70, but OPEC Should Keep Cool

The supply and demand outlook are both really unclear.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Brent crude touched $70 a barrel on Thursday, a level it last saw three years ago. That might start to look like a level where OPEC could say that its work to rebalance the market is done.

After all, its output deal has done a pretty good job of draining surplus inventories. And U.S. oil stockpiles, including crude, refined products and the oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, have fallen by around 147 million barrels in the past 12 months and now stand just 23 million barrels above their five-year average, according to weekly government data.