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Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: March 5 - 9

Commodities Mar 04, 2018 06:53AM ET
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© Reuters. Oil prices snap 2-week win streak
 
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Investing.com - Oil prices finished higher on Friday, but still suffered their first losing week in three as investors weighed indications of rising U.S. production against OPEC's ongoing efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery tacked on 26 cents, or around 0.4%, to close at $61.25 a barrel. The U.S. benchmark spent most of the session lower, falling to an intraday low of $60.13, a level not seen since Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, May Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., advanced 54 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to settle at $64.37 a barrel. It hit a two-week low of $63.19 on Thursday.

Oil saw weakness in early action, attributed in part to President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, stoking fears of a global trade war. But a weak dollar and a mild recovery in U.S. equities on Wall Street saw the commodity move into positive territory later in the session.

Despite Friday's bounce, WTI crude declined 3.6% for the week, while Brent lost 4%, as investors continued to fret over soaring U.S. output levels.

The number of oil drilling rigs rose by one to 800 last week, their highest in nearly three years, General Electric (NYSE:GE)'s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. That marked a sixth straight week of increases, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

That came after data on Wednesday showed U.S. oil production, driven by shale extraction, rose to an all-time high of 10.28 million barrels per day (bpd), staying above Saudi Arabia's output levels and within reach of Russia, the world's biggest crude producer.

Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming U.S. shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC's effort to end a supply glut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, have been restraining production by 1.8 million bpd to curb the market of excess supply. The arrangement, which was adopted last winter, expires at the end of 2018.

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 gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.

The annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Texas commencing on Monday will also grab some attention. The week-long event, organized by IHS Markit, will see energy ministers from around the world meet with Big Oil executives.

A dinner between OPEC officials and U.S. shale executives on Monday night in Houston will be in focus.

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

Monday

The 37th annual CERAWeek conference kicks off in Houston, Texas.

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

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

Thursday

The U.S. government will publish a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday

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

The 37th annual CERAWeek conference comes to a close.

Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: March 5 - 9
 

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