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Crude Oil Edges Lower at End of Volatile Week

CommoditiesJul 23, 2021 10:07AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse   

Investing.com -- Crude oil prices edged down Friday, holding above $70 a barrel and only marginally lower on the week after riding out a series of negative shocks.

By 10:05 AM ET (1405 GMT), U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% lower at $71.62 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.4% to $73.48.

U.S. Gasoline RBOB Futures were down 0.1% at $2.2715 a gallon.

The crude market has been very volatile this week, but has managed to claw back almost all of Monday’s rout to the lowest levels since May on concerns about the rising number of Covid-19 cases involving the delta variant, which weighed on the outlook for fuel demand.

The seven-day average of new cases in the United States was up 53% over the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, with the delta variant making up more than 80% of the new cases across the country.

Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, resolved a supply dispute, agreeing to increase supply by an additional 400,000 barrels a day each month until supply cuts imposed at the outset of the pandemic have been fully reversed. 

U.S. crude oil supply data from the EIA also showed a build of just over 2 million barrels last week, the first increase in crude oil inventories since mid-May. 

That said, losses have been minor as a whole this week, with both benchmark contracts down around 0.1% to 0.2%. Underpinning the crude market for much of this calendar year has been the successful rollout of vaccines through much of the developed world, which has permitted economies to reopen, stoking energy demand and draining the glut that built up during the pandemic. 

An illustration of the recovery of the oil market this year has come in the stronger corporate earnings in the sector. 

On Friday, Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) swung back to profit as higher drilling, construction of more wells and cloud-based services targeted at oil and gas customers boosted revenue.

Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch cited potential for upside, stating that “...we anticipate the growth rate to moderate; however, drilling activity could still surprise to the upside due to private E&P operator spending”.

Also of interest later Friday will be the release of Baker Hughes’ weekly rig count as well as the commitment of traders reports from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

 

Crude Oil Edges Lower at End of Volatile Week
 

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Comments (4)
Bill Ackman
Bill Ackman Jul 23, 2021 2:12PM ET
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Supply is still 3.5 million barrels per day less than demand…Its going higher and higher
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jul 23, 2021 1:52PM ET
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Clear manipulation. Oil stocks so low despite more production and oil at 72. Bah
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Jul 23, 2021 12:44PM ET
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Why posting this if 5 minutes it is higher?
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler Jul 23, 2021 11:26AM ET
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Crude oil..."very volatile this week"... bunch of bs as it seeks Putin's age
 
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