OIL PRICES: ABOVE $52
According to REUTERS, Brent crude futures fell on Friday after briefly nearing their 2016 high, as financial market confidence in the rally came up against a physical excess of crude.
Brent LCOc1 traded at $52.11 at 1000 GMT, 40 cents down, after touching $52.84 earlier, two cents below the 2016 high.
U.S. oil futures traded as high as $50.74 a barrel, a three and a half month high, before falling by 30 cents to $50.14 a barrel. On Thursday they settled at $50.44 per barrel - the first settlement above $50 since June 23.
The rally had come despite a strengthening dollar, which makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, and increases to physical oil supply coming from Libya, Nigeria and Russia.
Some of the support came from Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. Gulf, which could disrupt U.S. oil imports and lead to fuel shortages.
But the overall strength came from speculation that a deal struck last week by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members to curtail production would finally stem a two-year overhang. OPEC leaders were also expected to meet with officials from oil producing behemoth Russia next week.
But analysts said the agreement's support was fragile, given the overhang of physical crude oil.
"This isn't really sustainable," Hamza Khan, head of commodities strategy with ING, said of the rally, adding that fears the hurricane could impact U.S. oil stocks were one of the only fundamental factors supporting the market. "It all could be over by next week."
Both front-month contracts above $50 per barrel and each forward curve in contango, in which contracts for future delivery are more expensive than those for immediate sale, the entire crude futures complex has moved back over $50 per barrel.
Some warned this could ultimately hurt OPEC member nations by giving a boost to other producers.
"Many U.S. shale oil producers have now hedged their production, which is likely to put the brakes on the price rise," anaylsts at Commerzbank said in a note. "In other words, OPEC is shooting itself in the foot in the medium to long term."
Top exporter Saudi Arabia cut its benchmark crude prices to Asia this week, while Libya exported the first oil tanker from the port of Zuetina since 2015, adding to global supplies.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.