NEW YORK: Oil prices rose about 2% on Friday and were on course for a second consecutive week of gains as US producers rapidly shut crude production and more states moved ahead with plans to relax lockdowns intended to prevent the spread of the worst public health crisis in a generation.
Brent crude was up 62 cents, or 2.1%, to $30.08 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 59 cents, or 2.5%, to $24.14 a barrel.
Both contracts are heading for a second week of gains, with Brent advancing over 14% this week and WTI up more than 22%.
"This advance of the past couple of weeks has been a bit suspect given the fact that coronavirus cases continue to increase and the US crude surplus is maintaining a steep uptrend where a record US stock level is likely to be achieved in next week's EIA report," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois, said in a report.
The US Energy Information Administration's weekly report on Wednesday showed 15 weeks of consecutive rises in crude stocks although the rate of growth in inventories has slowed since a record build of 19 million barrels in early April.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2020.
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