Home Investing News Oil prices fall as hefty weekly losses loom on bets on tighter supplies suffer hit

Oil prices fall as hefty weekly losses loom on bets on tighter supplies suffer hit


Investing.com– Oil prices fell Friday, to remain on course for steep losses this week even as the dollar weakened following a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report, while data pointing to rising U.S. supplies reined in bets for tighter markets.

At 14:10 ET (18:10 GMT), Brent oil futures fell 0.6% to $84.20 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 0.6% to $79.44 a barrel. Oil prices are trading close to their weakest levels in seven weeks, and were set to lose between 5% and 6% this week. 

Weaker dollar fails to turn negative tide as crude set for hefty weekly losses

The dollar fell as rate-cut hopes were boosted by data showing tight U.S. labor market is cooling after job gains and wages fell in April. 

“Our forecast remains for three 25bp cuts this year starting in July, but have highlighted the path to cut in July has gotten narrower following the reinflation in 1Q24 data,” Morgan Stanley said in a Friday note. 

As oil is priced in dollar, a weaker dollar tends to boost demand for non-dollar investors. Despite the dollar weakness was of little comfort to oil prices as most of the damage occurred earlier this week following an unexpected build in U.S. inventories and data showing increased U.S. production.

This was coupled with easing fears of supply disruptions in the Middle East, as Israel and Hamas continued negotiations over a potential ceasefire. 

Baker Hughes rig count dips below 500 

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Co (NYSE:BKR) reported its weekly U.S. rig count, a leading indicator of future production, rose fell 499 from 506, pointing to weaker drilling activity even as the demand-heavy U.S. summer driving season approach.  

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But the fall in rigs just as domestic output is rising suggest that drillers are squeezing more out of existing wells. 

OPEC+ could extend production cuts 

Still, crude found some relief on Friday from a softer dollar, as the greenback retreated in anticipation of the nonfarm payrolls data. 

Also helping the tone was a report from Reuters that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, could potentially maintain their current run of 2.2 million barrels per day of production cuts beyond the end-June deadline, especially if demand does not pick up.

But cartel members are yet to begin formal talks over the matter. Still, extended production cuts by the cartel could herald tighter markets later in 2024. 

Adnoc, the UAE’s national oil company, has increased its production capacity by 200,000 barrels per day to 4.85 million b/d, leaving the producer with a spare capacity above 1.7m b/d, after producing a little over 3.1m b/d in April.

“This could see the UAE push for a higher baseline when OPEC+ discusses its output policy for the second half of 2024,” ING added.

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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