Oil prices ticked higher on Friday after a week of sharp declines as traders covered short positions and awaited further developments in the Middle East crisis.
At the time of writing, WTI crude is up by 0.79% and Brent crude by 0.84%.
Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said “a barrel of Brent crude will now set you back $80 as the price declines for a third straight week. There are easing concerns over potential supply disruptions in the Middle East, and demand uncertainties in the US and China are also weighing heavily.”
“US inventories are also at healthy levels, which alleviates upward pressure on the price,” she added.
Brent crude closed at $80.01 per barrel, up 0.59% on Thursday. Comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about potential future interest rate hikes later in Thursday’s trading hit equities and crude oil markets as demand concerns increased.
U.S. crude oil inventories are forecast to rise by 11.9 million barrels in the week ending November 3.
If verified, this would be the largest weekly increase since February. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has postponed the publication of weekly oil inventory data until November 15 due to a system upgrade.