Oil prices rose above USD75 a barrel on Friday but were on course for a fourth consecutive quarter of losses amid concerns over sluggish global economic activity and fuel demand, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Benchmark Brent crude futures for September delivery were up 82 cents, or 1.1%, at USD75.33 a barrel by 1310 GMT. The less-traded front-month contract, which expires on Friday, was up 52 cents at USD74.86. The contract was on track for a 6% decline in the three months to the end of June, marking a fourth straight quarterly decline.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up 86 cents or 1.2% to USD70.72. The contract is down 6.5% on a quarterly basis, its second consecutive quarterly drop. Inflationary pressure and rising interest rates in key economies have weighed on markets in recent months.
But signs of strengthening U.S. economic activity and sharp declines in U.S. oil inventories last week offered support. Saudi Arabia’s plans to cut output by a further 1 million barrels per day in July in addition to a broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply into 2024 offers further support.
“Despite the announcements of two fresh rounds of cuts from OPEC+/Saudi Arabia, crude prices have largely remained below $80 a barrel as the market has been driven less by fundamentals and more by macroeconomic concerns,” HSBC analysts said in a note.
“We think this will continue to be the case for part of the summer, although the deep deficit of around 2.3 million barrels forecast for 2H23 should help to spur some upwards price momentum.” A Reuters survey of 37 economists and analysts showed oil prices will struggle for traction this year as global economic headwinds linger. U.S. oil rig count data, an indicator of future supply, will be released later on Friday.