CRUDE SETTLES NEAR $50 TO POST BIGGEST WEEKLY GAIN THIS YEAR
CRUDE SETTLES NEAR $50 Crude futures settled higher on Friday, as data this week eased concerns about surplus supplies, after Saudi Arabia pledged to lower imports while U.S. crude supplies fell more than expected.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery rose 67 cents to settle at $49.71 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added $1.02 to trade at $52.51 a barrel.
Crude futures edged closer to a key $50 level, capping off a bullish week which has seen crude futures for the nearest delivery trade at premium to those of the following month, a pattern known as backwardation, usually associated with tighter supplies.
CRUDE SETTLES NEAR $50
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday, crude and gasoline stockpiles fell by more than expected last week, pointing to an uptick in demand for crude and refinery activity.
Saudi Arabia pledged earlier this week to lower crude exports to 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below the level last year.
Also supporting a rise in crude prices was the possibility of major disruptions to crude supplies from Venezuela, which faces a national vote Sunday to elect a constituent assembly whose job will be to redraft its constitution.
Meanwhile, an uptick in the latest number of active drilling failed to weigh on investor sentiment as crude prices notched their best weekly gain since December, rising 8.6%.
Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States ticked down by two rig to a total of 766.
The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.
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