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Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: January 21 - 25

CommoditiesJan 20, 2019 18:00
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© Reuters. - Oil traders will be watching for more trade-related headlines this week, after prices enjoyed a third weekly gain in a row on hopes the United States and China would strike a deal to end a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

Futures rallied around 3% on Friday following reports suggesting both countries were considering concessions ahead of a Washington visit from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Jan. 30 and 31 for talks aimed at resolving the ongoing U.S.-China trade standoff.

The biggest weekly decline in the U.S. oil-rig count in nearly three years, based on Baker Hughes data, also contributed to oil’s gains on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended Friday's session up $1.68, or 3.2%, at $54.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI earlier rose to its best level since Dec. 7 at $54.14.

For the week, the U.S. benchmark rose about 4.3%.

Meanwhile, the global benchmark, Brent crude for March delivery on the ICE (NYSE:ICE) Futures Europe exchange, rallied $1.52, or around 2.5%, to settle at $62.70 a barrel. Brent reached a six-week high of $63.00 earlier in the session.

It climbed about 3.7% for the week.

After ending 2018 in freefall, oil is off to its best start for a year since 2001, gaining 18% since the start of January.

Overall, the recent advance for the energy complex has been powered by evidence of a decline in global output.

Offering a hint on U.S. production activity, Baker Hughes reported Friday that the number of domestic rigs drilling for oil fell by 21 to 852 in the week to Jan. 11.

It was the third straight weekly decline in the rig count and the largest weekly drop since February 2016, suggesting a slowdown in domestic crude production.

That followed a report Thursday from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which revealed that the group‘s output fell by 751,000 barrels to 31.6 million barrels a day in December.

The decline was driven by a large voluntary reduction in Saudi output, as well as supply disruptions from Libya and Iran.

Fresh data on U.S. commercial crude inventories and production activity will capture the market's attention this week. The reports come out one day later than usual due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the main events likely to affect the oil market.

Monday, Jan. 21

There will be no floor trading on the Nymex because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday in the U.S. All electronic transactions will be booked with Tuesday's trades for settlement.

Wednesday, Jan. 23

The American Petroleum Institute is to publish its weekly update on U.S. oil supplies.

Thursday, Jan. 24

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil stockpiles.

Friday, Jan. 25

{{0|Baker Hughes}} will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: January 21 - 25

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