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| 15 April, 2018

Sunday Outlook: Oil prices end the week higher

IEA signaled on Friday that markets could become too tight if supply remains restrained

Image used for illustrative purpose only.
Pumpjacks are seen at an oil field in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China November 11, 2017. Picture taken November 11, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Pumpjacks are seen at an oil field in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China November 11, 2017. Picture taken November 11, 2017.

REUTERS/Stringer

Oil prices extended gains on Friday as investors were concerned at the end of the week about the possibility of Western military action in Syria and as ongoing production cuts led by OPEC supported prices.

Brent crude recovered from losses early in the session and settled up 56 cents at $72.58 a barrel, with a $5.48 weekly gain, or 8 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 32 cents to $67.39 a barrel, up 8 percent for the week.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) signaled on Friday that markets could become too tight if supply remains restrained.

“It is not for us to declare on behalf of the Vienna agreement countries that it is ‘mission accomplished’, but if our outlook is accurate, it certainly looks very much like it,” the IEA said.

In stocks, global markets dropped on Friday on fears of escalating tensions in the Middle East.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 122.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,360.14, the S&P 500 lost 7.69 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,656.3 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 33.60 points, or 0.47 percent, to 7,106.65.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.10 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe edged down 0.15 percent. The MSCI index ended the week with its strongest performance in five.

In the Middle East, most stock markets dropped on Thursday in line with global markets, as investors were cautious because of tensions in the Middle East.

Egypt’s index dropped 1.8 percent on profit-taking on Thursday after it gained 1.4 percent on Wednesday. Commercial International Bank fell 3.3 percent.

Dubai's index closed 1.2 percent down as Emaar Properties, the largest property developer, dropped 2.0 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.8 percent, hit by weak financial and property stocks. Aldar Properties fell 1.9 percent.

Qatar's index lost 1.1 percent, hurt by banking stocks with Commercial Bank tumbling 4.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.3 percent, outperforming the region, after a 1.9 percent drop on Wednesday. Al Rajhi Bank ended 0.9 percent higher.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index fell 1.0 percent, Bahrain’s index added 0.2 percent and Oman’s index edged down 0.3 percent.

In currencies, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies, was 0.03 percent higher at 89.78 on Friday.

Spot gold, seen as a safe haven added 0.7 percent on Friday to $1,345.01 an ounce.

In other news, a Finance Ministry statement said on Friday that Egypt's draft budget for the 2018/19 financial year will target an inflation level of 10 percent.

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© ZAWYA 2018