Oil down by 2%, but well on-course for weekly gain

Oil Surges Above $52 on Saudi Assurances China Trade OptimismMore

Oil Surges Above $52 on Saudi Assurances China Trade OptimismMore

Another driver of bearish sentiment - rising global output and inventories - took a back seat on Friday due to conflicting messages from different sources, ie: while JBC Energy said it was likely that USA production was "significantly above 12 million barrels per day [bpd]" by this month, Baker Hughes data showed that US energy firms this week cut four oil rigs for a second week of declines - an indication that drilling plans are being downsized because of uncertainty over a recovery in crude prices.

Oil headed for its biggest weekly gain in over two years on hopes that OPEC will manage to shrink a glut and trade tensions between the US and China will ease.

Delegations from China and the USA ended talks in Beijing on Wednesday amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of us farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets.

Meanwhile, the market is watching closely on the development of trade talks between China and the United States.

A range of Federal Reserve policymakers said last month they could be patient about future interest rate increases and a few did not support the central bank's rate increase that month, minutes from their December 18-19 policy meeting showed.

The initial pause came in the wake of a strong start to 2019, which lifted the S&P 500 .SPX by more than 10 percent from a 20-month low it touched around Christmas. -China trade talks in a positive light. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent to 26,633.47.

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Both benchmarks were set for their second week of gains, with Brent rising about 6 percent and WTI up almost 8 percent.

Prices of Brent, West Texas Intermediate, WTI, and OPEC Basket of 14 crudes stood at $60.00, $59.91 and $56.11 per barrel respectively. Prices fell for the first time in two weeks on Friday, retreating 2 percent to $60.48 a barrel.

Markets had been supported by hopes that an all-out trade war between Washington and Beijing might be averted. The U.S. rig count is still much higher than a year ago when 752 rigs were active.

Before that, for much of the last quarter of 2018, crude oil prices were sliding down, losing over 40% from the highs attained in early October.

Gold prices rose on Wednesday, with spot gold XAU= rising 0.49 percent to $1,291.2 per ounce. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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