Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Oil set for weekly gain after finding floor amid virus confusion

Oil prices
Oil prices

Oil headed for its first weekly gain since early January after prices found a floor amid uncertainty over how the coronavirus will play out and whether OPEC+ will respond with additional production cuts.

Crude has staged a recovery since closing at a 13-month low Monday, despite a sharp increase in the number of cases reported in China’s Hubei province after authorities changed their method for counting infections. The World Health Organization said the spike doesn’t necessarily reflect a sudden surge in new infections, with many of the added cases dating back days and weeks.

Virus uncertainty spurs wide swings in oil prices

The three big oil forecasters — the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, the International Energy Agency and the U.S. Energy Information Administration — have all cut their demand estimates due to the virus but there’s a wide divergence between them. The other big uncertainty is whether Russia will back an OPEC+ proposal to temporarily deepen output reductions by 600,000 barrels a day in the second quarter.

See also: Coronavirus Will Hit Oil Hard. That’s Where the Consensus Ends

The recent strength in oil prices could signal that much of the coronavirus-driven news has been priced in, Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note. “Barring an acceleration of new infections, markets should remain relatively supported until we get the first-look data surrounding supply chains and demand contraction knock-on effects in China.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 0.1% to $51.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:15 a.m. in London after closing 0.5% higher on Thursday. It’s up 2.3% since Feb. 7, set for the first weekly gain since Jan. 3.

Brent for April settlement was little changed at $56.35 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, and has risen 3.5% so far this week. The global benchmark for crude traded at a $4.65 premium to WTI for the same month.

The International Energy Agency is the most bearish of the three forecasters. It’s predicting an oil demand contraction of 435,000 barrels a day this quarter, which would be the first drop in consumption in a decade. That outlook is 1.3 million barrels a day lower than the IEA’s estimate a month ago, a downgrade three times as big as OPEC’s. The EIA is in the middle.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to leave its decision on whether to back the cartel’s deeper production cuts hanging, keeping the market in limbo.

Other oil-markets news
  • A sudden oil buying spree by China’s independent refiners has taken Asian traders by surprise. Three Shandong teapots have returned to the market in recent days, according to traders with knowledge of the market.
  • Saudi Arabia and Kuwait authorized the restart of oil production at the Wafra field from Sunday, more than four years after they halted output at the shared deposit.
  • Crude futures rose 0.5% to yuan 408.2 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange Friday, and are up 0.8% so far this week.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts