Oil prices ease but post biggest weekly gains

Published April 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices dipped on Friday on expectations that producer club OPEC will soon raise output to make up for a decline in exports from Iran following a hardening of sanctions on Tehran by the United States.

Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province, China December 7, 2018. (REUTERS/Stringer / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Reuters file photo)

Still, prices are on course for the longest run of weekly gains in years, as oil markets have tightened amid supply disruptions and rising geopolitical concerns, especially over the tensions between the United States and Iran.

Brent crude futures were at $74.18 per barrel at 0505 GMT, down 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.89 per barrel, down 32 cents, or 0.5 percent.

The dip followed Brent’s rise above $75 per barrel for the first time this year on Thursday after Germany, Poland and Slovakia suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality. The move cut parts of Europe off from a major supply route.

WTI is on track for its eighth successive weekly gain, the longest weekly run since the first half of 2015. Brent is set a fifth weekly price gain, the longest stretch since April 2018.

Oil has been driven up by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Crude futures are up around 40 percent so far this year.

“Given the concerns around supply tightening from Libya, Venezuela, and Iran, the short-term view on Brent is bullish,” Fitch Solutions said in a note on Friday.

 
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