Oil set for first weekly gain in two months on supply risks
Shrinking US crude inventories and looming sanctions on Iran point to tighter supplies ahead
Tokyo: Oil is poised for its first weekly gain in two months as shrinking US crude inventories, a strike in the North Sea oil and gas fields and looming sanctions on Iran point to tighter supplies.
Futures in New York were little changed, headed for a weekly gain of about 3 percent. Workers at Total SA’s North Sea oil and gas fields will go ahead with scheduled strikes after talks broke down. Government data on Wednesday showed nationwide US crude stockpiles declined 5.84 million barrels last week, more than double what was expected in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.
Oil has rebounded from the lowest level in more than two months in mid-August as renewed US sanctions on Iranian oil sales threaten to limit supplies. Still, a trade standoff between the US and China that could imperil global economic growth and weaken energy demand continues to weigh on crude prices after negotiations in Washington this week failed to progress.
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery traded at $67.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 3 cents, at 9:14 a.m. in Tokyo. The contract dipped 3 cents to settle at $67.83 on Thursday. Total volume traded was about 54 percent below the 100-day average. Brent for October settlement slipped 5 cents to to $74.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract is up 4% on the week. The global benchmark crude traded at a $6.90 premium to WTI.