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Title: Oil prices head for weekly drop on global economic slowdown worries



Aug 19, 2022 03:11AM ET


By: AnalysisWatch


Oil prices slipped on Friday after two days of gains, as market participants weighed worries about a global economic slowdown, which would dampen fuel demand, against expectations of tighter supplies toward year-end.


Brent crude futures fell 68 cents, or 0.7%, to $95.91 a barrel by 0658 GMT after settling 3.1% higher on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $89.81 a barrel, down 69 cents, or 0.8%, following a 2.7% increase in the previous session.


Both benchmark contracts were headed for weekly losses of more than 2%.


While bullish U.S. weekly data bolstered optimism for improved fuel demand for the near-term, lingering recession fears and a possible increase in output by OPEC+ will likely limit oil price's upside,


U.S. crude inventories fell sharply as the nation exported a record 5 million barrels of oil a day in the most recent week, with oil companies finding heavy demand from European nations looking to replace crude from warring Russia.


Keeping crude supplies snug, U.S. oil refineries plan to keep running near full throttle this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners set aside worries about recession and sliding retail prices to deliver more fuel.


The rise in U.S. fuel production could partly offset lower oil products exports from China this year as Beijing prioritises the local market to curb domestic fuel inflation.


On supplies, Haitham Al Ghais, new secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, told Reuters that policymakers, lawmakers and insufficient oil and gas sector investments are to blame for high energy prices, not his group.


In a sign of improving supplies, the price gap between prompt and second-month Brent futures narrowed about $5 a barrel from the end of July.


Record U.S. crude exports, the resumption of Libya's production and sustained exports from Russia and Iran have eased global supply tightness ahead of peak refinery maintenance.



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