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Brent oil edges up, heads for weekly loss on slowdown worries

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Nasralla

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent prices inched up on Friday but were heading for a weekly loss, pulled down by worries about a global economic slowdown, although OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against provided crude with some support.

Weighing on financial markets were concerns that a trade dispute between the and would remain unresolved, denting global economic prospects.

International futures had erased earlier losses by 1459 GMT, gaining 24 cents to $61.87 per barrel. On the week, they were set for a loss of around 1.4 percent.

U.S. Intermediate crude futures hovered between negative and positive territory, down 9 cents at $52.55 per barrel and looking at a 4.9 percent weekly slump, their steepest this year.

U.S. said on Thursday that he did not plan to meet Chinese before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to strike a trade deal.

Adding to demand concerns, the sharply cut its forecasts for euro zone economic growth due to global trade tensions and an array of domestic challenges.

Another factor weighing on prices this week was a strong dollar.

Supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lent support. OPEC kingpin reduced its output in January by about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.24 million bpd, OPEC sources said.

Another risk to supply comes from after the implementation of U.S. sanctions against the OPEC member's petroleum industry in late January. Analysts expect this move to knock out 300,000-500,000 bpd of exports.

For the time being, though, the sanctions impact on international markets has been limited.

said on Friday that its largest oilfield, out of action since December, would remain offline until security had been restored.

"The of the coin is facing a number of headwinds ... Venezuela's are largely priced in and there is no guarantee that the OPEC+ supply pact will be extended," PVM analysts wrote.

"This is hardly a recipe for a sustained bout of upward buying pressures. There is, however, one potential lifeline for those of a bullish disposition. The rumour mill is in full swing that the will not renew waivers to sanctions against buying Iranian oil."

(Additional reporting by in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson/David Evans)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 23:30 IST
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