Oil prices edge up, but set for big weekly loss on rising output, trade woes

Tokyo, Japan Updated: Nov 01, 2019, 12:40 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Brent crude was up 5 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $59.67 a barrel, leaving it on track for a drop of nearly 4 per cent.

Oil prices edged up on Friday after a difficult week but were still headed for losses of about 4 per cent, hit by a combination of rising global supply and uncertain future demand.

US crude rose for the first time in four days, gaining 18 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $54.36 a barrel by 0339 GMT. The contract was set for a weekly loss of more than 4 per cent.

Brent crude was up 5 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $59.67 a barrel, leaving it on track for a drop of nearly 4 per cent.

Worries over global economic growth, along with oil demand, continue to haunt the market as leaders from the United States and China struggle to end a 16-month dispute that has roiled trade between the world's top two economies.

"Concerns about the US-China trade dispute have come home to roost," said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

The market received some respite from a run of poor economic data after an unexpected bounce in a private sector survey of Chinese manufacturing activity on Friday, which contrasted with the dour results of an official survey Thursday.

Japanese factory activity, however, sank to more than a three-year low in October, data showed on Friday, in a fresh warning sign for the world's third-largest economy.

US crude inventories rose by 5.7 million barrels in the week to October 25, dwarfing analyst expectations for an increase of just 494,000 barrels.

A Reuters survey showed that oil prices are likely to remain under pressure this year and next. The poll of 51 economists and analysts forecast Brent crude would average $64.16 a barrel in 2019 and $62.38 next year.

Meanwhile, US crude production soared nearly 600,000 barrels per day in August to a record of 12.4 million, buoyed by a 30 per cent increase in Gulf of Mexico output, according to government data released on Thursday.

Those numbers came as a Reuters survey found output from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recovered in October from an eight-year low, with rapid recovery in Saudi Arabian production from attacks on oil plants more than offsetting losses in Ecuador and voluntary curbs under a supply pact.

Read in App