|26 May, 2019

Sunday outlook: U.S. oil gains on Friday, still posts biggest weekly drop of the year

Oil regains some ground on Friday, Brent adds 1.4 percent and WTI adds 1.2 percent

Image used for illustrative purpose. Distillation tank of oil refinery plant, twilight time.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Distillation tank of oil refinery plant, twilight time.

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  • WTI crude dropped 6.4 percent last week
  • Global markets rebound on Friday
  • Saudi Arabia’s index drops 1.4 percent on Thursday
  • Dollar, gold prices retreat

Oil prices

Oil prices regained some ground on Friday, following losses in the previous sessions on rising inventories in the United States and worries about the global economy, pushing prices to their biggest weekly drop in 2019.

Brent crude rose 93 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $68.69 a barrel, but the global benchmark notched a weekly decline of about 4.5%.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 72 cents, or 1.2%, to end at $58.63 a barrel. It notched a weekly decline of about 6.4%, its steepest since December.

The Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that U.S. crude oil inventories rose in the week ending on the May 17, hitting their highest levels since July 2017, due to weak refinery demand.

“U.S. businesses affected by the increased tariffs will be making decisions regarding purchases, inventories, etc., that are apt to force some downshifts in the U.S. economic growth path that could have implications for U.S. oil demand,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, told Reuters.

“A decline below our expected next support level of $56 (for WTI) will likely associate with a further plunge in equities that would be heavily related to unresolved trade issues between the U.S. and China ... volatility across all markets will be heightened until some significant trade progress is seen.”

Global markets

Stock markets across the globe mainly rebounded on Friday following drops in the previous sessions on trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal could resolve U.S. complaints against Huawei, but he also called the company “very dangerous.”

MSCI’s gauge of stock performance across 47 countries gained 0.39%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.56%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95.22 points, or 0.37%, to 25,585.69. The S&P 500 gained 3.82 points, or 0.14%, to 2,826.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.73 points, or 0.11%, to 7,637.01.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.68%, the S&P 500 slid 1.16% and the Nasdaq declined 2.29%.

“Today’s action is mostly based on sentiment because the overall market is trading at a full valuation,” Rahul Shah, CEO of Ideal Asset Management in New York, said of equities.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 1.4 percent on Thursday with 10 of its 11 banks trading lower. Al Rajhi Bank shed 1.7% and Saudi Basic Industries fell 2.5%.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.6% with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, adding 0.6%.

Dubai's index rose for its third straight session, up 0.2%, as Emaar Properties rose 1.8%, while its unit Emaar Malls added 1.7%.

Qatar's index declined 0.3% with Qatar National Bank, the Middle East and Africa's largest lender, dropping 1.2% and Qatar Fuel losing 2.1%.

Egypt's blue-chip index closed 0.8% higher as Alexandria Mineral Oils jumped 5.6% and El Sewedy Electric gained 2.1%.

Kuwait’s premier market index dropped 0.7 percent, Bahrain’s index dropped 0.2 percent and Oman’s index gained 0.4 percent.

Currencies

The dollar dropped on Friday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.29% at 97.575.

Precious metals

Gold prices also eased on Friday.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,281.62 per ounce by 1101 GMT.

U.S. gold futures for June were down 0.3% at $1,281.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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