U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures proved to be resilient this week, rebounding from a steep sell-off early in the week to post a new high for the year on Friday. The early in the week weakness was fueled by comments from President Trump, while the rally late in the week was helped stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data.
The lack of fresh developments over U.S.-China trade relations weighed on prices at times as well as increased U.S. production. However, both concerns were offset by the OPEC-led production cuts which continued to tighten the global supply, and an unexpected drop in U.S. crude oil inventories.
Trump Not Happy With OPEC-led Output Cuts
The week started with WTI oil prices tumbling more than 3 percent on Monday after President Trump publicly urged OPEC to lower crude oil prices.
“Oil prices getting too high. OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!” Trump said in an early morning tweet.
Trump’s tweet was in response to the OPEC-led production cuts which began on January 1 and have been successful enough to trim the global supply glut. OPEC, along with its major ally Russia, meet in mid-April to review the deal, which is scheduled to last through the first six months of 2019.
Saudi Oil Minister Brushes Aside Trump’s Comments
Crude oil prices stabilized mid-week after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC is taking a measured approach…