Early on Friday, oil prices extended the losses of the previous two days as concerns about the Chinese and U.S. economies continue to weigh on market sentiment, dragging prices down and on track for a fourth consecutive weekly loss.
As of early morning trade in Europe, the U.S. benchmark WTI Crude had slumped again to the $70 per barrel mark, and traded at $70.57, down by 0.42% on the day, and down from this week’s high of over $73 a barrel.
Brent Crude, the international benchmark, was trading down by 0.53% at $74.62.
Both benchmarks were on course to book another weekly loss, despite gains in the first two trading days of this week. A fourth consecutive week of losses would mark the longest weekly losing streak for oil since November 2021.
Concerns about the U.S. economy, another build in U.S. inventories, and signs of a patchy economic recovery in China have weighed on the petroleum complex this week, overshadowing signals that the United States could begin buying crude soon to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The impasse on raising the U.S. debt ceiling and a subsequent looming debt default have also dragged down prices and sentiment in the oil market.
Crude oil prices were also weighed down by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting on Wednesday an inventory build of 3 million barrels for the week to May 5. Later on Wednesday, U.S. inflation data showed a decline in core consumer prices. But the still sticky inflation could mean that the Fed may not start cutting rates in the near term, analysts say.
Concerns about oil demand in the near future outweighed signals from U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that the Administration could start repurchasing crude to fill the SPR once the June sale from the SPR is completed.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Texas Natural Gas Prices Turn Negative
- The Brent Oil Benchmark Is About To Change Forever
- China Is Coming Out Of The Shadows To Defend Its Oil Interests