Oil Slips As Oversupply Concerns Weigh

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Oil futures finished higher Friday, but still fell for a third week as more concerns about oversupply worried traders.

There were many reasons advanced for the loss last week – a surprise jump in US crude inventories, confusion about the real position of Saudi production (confusing figures emerged last week throwing doubt on whether the country has really boosted production by very much) the strength of the US dollar (but not on Friday) and an easing in concerns about the US – China trade dispute.

Crude futures found support Thursday and remained up on Friday as the US and China prepared to resume trade talks next week, though expectations for a breakthrough are low.

Futures showed little reaction to data on the number of active U.S. oil rigs from oil-field services firm Baker Hughes last week which showed the number was unchanged at 869 for the week. The week before they had jumped by 10 – the biggest weekly rise so far this year.

In New York West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery rose 45 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $US65.91 a barrel.

But that was still down 2.5% for the week.

In Europe October Brent crude futures were up 40 cents, or 0.6%, to $US71.83 a barrel but still down 1.3% for the week.

The US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a 6.8 million-barrel rise in American crude inventories, defying expectations for a decline of around 2.4 million barrels.

Crude futures fell to multi week lows on Wednesday – West Texas to a 10-week low and Brent to its lowest close since early April.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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