Oil Registers Fourth Weekly Loss
Oil prices bounced Friday a day after hitting their lowest settlement price of 2017, but but still notched up their fourth weekly loss in a row—the longest losing streak in nearly two years.
Data earlier in the week showing a rise in US production and weak domestic petrol demand (in the peak summer driving season) fed concerns that the global energy market is still awash in surplus oil, keeping downward pressure on prices.
July West Texas Intermediate crude futures oil rose 28 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $US44.74 a barrel in New York, while in London August Brent futures o added 45 cents, or 1%, to $US47.37 a barrel.
WTI crude was down 2.4% for the week, while Brent saw a 1.6% slip. That marked a fourth straight week of losses for both, and the longest weekly losing streak since August 2015 for WTI, according to FactSet figures.
Oil services group, Baker Hughes said on Friday that the number of active rigs looking for oil in the US rose for yet another week.
The figure was up 6 to 747 rigs and was the 22nd weekly rise in a row. The total active US rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, climbed by 6 to 933, according to Baker Hughes’s data.
Earlier this week, the International Energy Agency warned that the continuing rise in US production will keep the global markets oversupplied well into 2018.
Meanwhile gold prices on Friday edged up from the three-week low it struck on Thursday but it lost ground for a second-straight week.
Comex August gold futures edged up $US1.90, or 0.2%, to settle at $US1,256.50 in New York. That was after it settled at $US1,254.60 an ounce Thursday—the lowest most-active contract finish since May 24, according to FactSet.
That was a 1.2% weekly fall and successive weekly losses for gold after five-straight weekly gains.
Comex July silver futures fell 5.5 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $US16.661 an ounce, settling at its lowest in more than a month. Silver was off 3.3% for the week.
Meanwhile Comex July copper futures lost less than half a cent to settle at $US2.564 a pound, but own about 3.2% for the week.
And iron ore prices continued to edge up on Friday with the Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index (for ore delivered to northern China on a cfr basis) up 52 cents at $US55.75.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.