Oil expected to rise weekly as bullish demand outlook offsets supply fears
Oil prices edged up on Friday, with Brent poised to close at a two-year high, as strong US economic data and expectations of a rebound in global demand offset concerns about increased oil supply. Iran once sanctions are lifted.
Brent rose 33 cents, or 0.5%, to $ 69.79 a barrel at 1:33 p.m. (5:33 p.m. GMT), and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 6 cents, or 0.5% , at $ 66.91 per barrel.
The two benchmarks were on track to post weekly gains of 5% and 6%, respectively. Brent was expected to experience its highest close since May 2019, and WTI headed for its highest settlement since October 2018.
“On the strength of good economic data and investor risk appetite in financial markets, Brent is making a new bid for the psychologically important $ 70 a barrel bar,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.
“Concerns over demand due to the pandemic are giving way to optimism given the rapid return of consumers,” he added.
Analysts expect global oil demand to rebound closer to 100 million barrels per day in the third quarter on summer trips to Europe and the United States following widespread COVID vaccination programs -19.
“Demand for gasoline has now exceeded 2019 levels in many areas,” ANZ analysts said in a note.
Strong economic data from the United States, the world’s largest economy and oil consumer, also supported the number of Americans filing new unemployment benefits, falling to their lowest since mid-March 2020 , exceeding estimates. Read more
Rising coronavirus infections in Asia are putting pressure on prices. Infections in the South Asian region topped 30 million on Friday, according to a tally from Reuters, led by India, which is grappling with a second wave of COVID-19 and a shortage of vaccines in the region . Read more
The prospect of more Iranian oil entering the markets also capped the gains.
“Iran will slow the rally,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York, adding that market participants were cautious as the weekend approached over the possibility that ‘an agreement between Iran and the Western powers can inject more. supply to the market.
Iran and world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to determine what steps Tehran and Washington need to take on sanctions and nuclear activities to return to full compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear pact with world powers. Read more
In the United States, Yawger expressed concern that potential demand on this Memorial Day holiday weekend was lackluster. “There are areas of concern,” he said.
More than 34 million Americans are expected to take the freeways between May 27 and May 31, the holiday weekend that marks the start of the summer driving season. But they face gas prices at around $ 3.04 a gallon on average, the most expensive since 2014. read more
Also in the United States, crude oil production jumped 14.3% in March to 11.2 million barrels per day, after being hit by a cold snap in February, the government said in its latest report. monthly. production, has increased for nine consecutive months, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes. [nL2N2NF1TD]
By balancing expectations of a recovery in demand against a possible increase in Iranian supply, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC +, should stick to the current pace of gradual easing of oil supply at a meeting on Tuesday, OPEC sources said. Read more
“Our record shows that the market should be able to absorb this additional supply from OPEC +, as well as a gradual increase in Iranian production,” said ING analyst Warren Patterson.
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