OIL PRICE: ABOVE $49
According to REUTERS, oil prices pulled back on profit-taking on Friday after settling more than 4 percent higher a day earlier, following a surprisingly large drawdown in U.S. crude stocks as Gulf Coast imports slumped to a record low.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude futures have gained nearly 6 percent this week and are on course for their biggest weekly gain in three weeks following two consecutive weeks of declines, after major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on Monday to cooperate on stabilising the oil market.
London Brent crude for November delivery was down 58 cents at $49.41 a barrel as of 0647 GMT after rising above $50 for the first time in two weeks and settling up $2.01, or 4.2 percent, on Thursday.
NYMEX crude for October delivery was down 51 cents at $47.11.
Oil came under pressure after Morgan Stanley analysts said there is a risk of supply/demand rebalancing is being delayed.
"We are not yet changing our forecast for a mid-2017 rebalancing, but our conviction level is falling," they said in a note. "Once again, we see an increasing probability for several unexpected bearish developments to come together, which could push off rebalancing (seasonally-adjusted demand exceeding supply) to late 2017 or even 2018."
Oil prices shot up on Thursday after government data showed U.S. crude stocks dropped 14.5 million barrels last week to 511.4 million barrels, the biggest weekly drop in stockpiles since January 1999.
Traders said imports fell as ships delayed offloading cargoes in Texas and Louisiana due to Tropical Storm Hermine.
Market participants said there was no significant impact from rising geopolitical risks after North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test, setting off a blast that was more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The market is still focusing on an informal meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers such as Russia in Algeria from Sept. 26-28.
However, the oil options market indicates traders are not betting big on OPEC and rival Russia clinching a meaningful deal this month to control output.
Iran's steep oil output growth has stalled in the past three months, new data showed, suggesting Tehran might be struggling to fulfil its plans to raise production to new highs while demanding to be excluded from any OPEC deals on supply curbs.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.