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Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: July 21 - 25

Commodities Jul 20, 2014 07:57AM ET
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Crude oil futures end the week higher with geopolitical worries in focus - Crude oil futures gave back some of the previous session’s strong gains on Friday, as investors reassessed the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude oil for delivery in September eased down 0.24%, or 25 cents, on Friday to settle at $101.95 a barrel by close of trade.

New York-traded oil futures rallied 1.59%, or $1.60, on Thursday to end at $102.20 a barrel.

For the week, Nymex oil futures rose 1.09%, or $1.12 a barrel, the first weekly gain in five weeks.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers decreased their bullish bets in New York-traded oil futures in the week ending July 15.

Net longs totaled 259,259 contracts as of last week, down 14.8% from net longs of 304,366 in the preceding week.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery shed 0.6%, or 65 cents, to settle the week at $107.24 a barrel.

The September Brent contract advanced 0.54%, or 58 cents, on the week.

Meanwhile the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $5.29 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, compared to $5.83 in the preceding week.

Oil spiked on Thursday following the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine, with the U.S. blaming pro-Russian separatists for the act.

Moscow has denied involvement in the crash, which came a day after the U.S. announced a fresh round of sanctions against Russia for supporting separatists in east Ukraine.

Markets were also unsettled as Israel expanded its ground offensive in Gaza against Hamas militants who fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

Oil prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks as investors pared back positions that had priced in the possibility of major supply disruptions stemming from violence in Libya and Iraq.

Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: July 21 - 25

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