Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher, But Can't Avoid Sixth-Straight Weekly Loss

Aug 10, 2018

WTI Crude Oil prices slumped to a weekly loss, despite settling higher Friday on renewed bets on steeper losses of Iranian crude from market. Expectations for a rebound in oil demand growth also lifted sentiment.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery rose 82 cents settle at $67.63 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 0.97% to trade at $72.77 barrel.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday raised its estimate of world oil demand growth next year to 1.5 million barrels a day (bpd) from 1.4 million bpd.

The energy watchdog also confirmed that Iran's output continued to fall, reaffirming expectations that the United States tough stance on sanctions against Iran were starting to curb demand for crude from the Islamic Republic.

Iran's output was the lowest since April last year at 3.75 million bpd as Europe reduced its Iranian crude imports and South Korea completely stopped its Iranian imports, the IEA said.

On the supply side, however, the IEA said non-OPEC production would continue to rise, led by U.S. producers. The IEA raised its estimate for growth in non-OPEC oil output next year to 1.9 million bpd day, from 1.8 million bpd in its previous report.

The IEA's report arrived as data showed the number of U.S. oil rigs drilling for oil rose sharply, pointing to possible signs of rising domestic output.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of U.S. oil drilling rigs in operation rose by 10 to 869.

The Energy Information Administration, however, said on Wednesday domestic production fell for the second-straight week to 10.8 million barrels a day.

The rise in WTI crude oil prices came much too late in the week to avert a sixth-straight weekly loss, following sharp declines mid-week amid bearish crude data and concerns about the U.S.-China trade war.

Inventories of U.S. crude fell by 1.351 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 3, missing expectations for a draw of 2.800 million barrels, according to data from the EIA on Wednesday.