Oil edged up after turning positive in volatile trade on Friday following supportive US economic news, but prices were on track to decline this week as expectations for more supply and a rise in coronavirus cases raised demand concerns.
Brent futures rose 31 cents, or 0.4%, to $73.78 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 38 cents, or 0.5%, to $72.03. Earlier in the session, both benchmarks were down over $1 a barrel.
Despite the small gains, Brent was on track to drop about 2% for the week, putting it down for a third week in a row for the first time since April 2020. WTI was set to fall about 3% this week, putting it down for a second week in a row.
US retail sales unexpectedly increased in June as demand for goods remained strong even as spending is shifting back to services, bolstering expectations that economic growth accelerated in the second quarter. Saudi Arabia and the UAE reached a compromise earlier this week, paving the way for OPEC+ producers to finalise a deal to increase production.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2021.
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