Oil prices inched higher on Friday but fell for the week, as familiar worries about a potential global economic slowdown outweighed signs of improving U.S. demand.
Much of the bearish pressure for oil this week came from the hot U.S. dollar, which hit a five-week high and gained ~2.5% in the past six trading sessions.
The potential for an Iranian nuclear deal that may lead to higher global supplies also held down prices this week, and traders reportedly hedged their bets with some pre-weekend liquidation.
Front-month Nymex WTI crude oil (CL1:COM) for September delivery ended up 0.3% on Friday but -1.4% for the week to settle at $90.77/bbl, and October Brent crude (CO1:COM) fell by a similar percentage to $96.72/bbl this week.
Oil fell for the week despite gains in three straight session following surprisingly bullish data that showed a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, indicating solid demand.
Next week’s EIA report will be closely watched to see whether the stronger than expected demand was just a one-off or the new norm.
U.S. natural gas prices (NG1:COM) finished at their best level since August 2008, up 1.6% for Friday and +6.5% for the week to $9.336/MMBtu.
European natural gas futures surged after Russia’s Gazprom unveiled plans to shut down the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany for three days of maintenance later this month.
Despite crude oil’s lackluster week, energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) was among the top three performers among S&P sectors, +1.2%.
Image and article originally from seekingalpha.com. Read the original article here.