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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: September 25 - 29

CommoditiesSep 24, 2017 06:19AM ET
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© Reuters. Oil prices extend streak of weekly gains - Oil prices settled a bit higher on Friday, hovering close to their best levels in months amid optimism that the crude market was starting to rebalance.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures tacked on 11 cents, or around 0.2%, to end at $50.66 a barrel by close of trade, not far from its highest level since May 25 at $51.11 reached on Wednesday.

For the week, U.S. oil prices gained about 1.5%, their third-straight weekly climb.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose 43 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to settle at $56.86 a barrel after touching a more than six-month peak of $56.91 earlier in the session.

The global benchmark closed the week with a gain of 2.2%, its fourth-consecutive weekly climb.

Major oil producers convening in Vienna for an OPEC-led committee meeting on Friday boasted record compliance with their production-cut agreement, but, as expected, decided to wait a bit longer to see if any further action was needed.

OPEC and non-OPEC compliance with the deal to curb output rose to 116% in August, the committee said, a strong increase from the 94% compliance achieved a month ago.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq, who chaired the meeting, said the market "is evidently well on its way towards rebalancing."

In May, OPEC and non-OPEC members led by Russia agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.

But so far rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the cartel’s efforts to curb excess supply.

Russia’s energy minister suggested that January is the earliest date that an extension to the global accord can be considered, although other ministers suggested such a decision could be taken before the end of this year.

The committee’s next meeting is set for November 29 in Vienna, just a day ahead of OPEC’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Elsewhere, in the U.S., market participants mulled over data showing the number of oil rigs continued to decline, suggesting a possible tightening in domestic production.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the U.S. declined by 5 to 744, marking the third weekly decline in a row.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

Meanwhile, gasoline futures inched up 1.9 cents, or 1.2%, to end at $1.626 on Friday. It closed around 0.4% higher for the week.

Heating oil finished flat at $1.808 a gallon, but still ending roughly 1% higher for the week.

Natural gas futures added 1.4 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $3.021 per million British thermal units. It saw a weekly loss of nearly 2.2%.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to further weigh what the impact of recent storm activity was on supply and demand.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, September 26

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, September 27

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday, September 28

The U.S. government is set to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, September 29

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: September 25 - 29

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