HOUSTON, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices increased during the week ending April 12, with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery up 1.28 percent and Brent crude oil for June delivery up 1.72 percent amid lower growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
At the end of the week, WTI settled up at 63.89 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude closed up at 71.55 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
WTI and Brent have increased 44.70 percent and 32.99 percent, respectively, so far this year, mainly due to the on-going efforts to curb supply by major oil producers.
During the week, WTI and Brent moved in the same directions, closing up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while closing down on Tuesday and Thursday.
Oil prices extended gains on Monday as market participants speculated tighter global supply driven by the military escalation in oil-rich Libya. The situation, combined with the on-going supply cut efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, pushed the oil prices higher.
WTI increased 1.32 dollars to settle at 64.40 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude increased 0.76 dollar to close at 71.10 dollars a barrel.
Oil prices slid on Tuesday as market participants grew concerned that a looming global economic slowdown would hit fuel consumption. WTI fell 0.42 dollar to settle at 63.98 U.S. dollars a barrel, while Brent crude decreased 0.49 dollar to close at 70.61 dollars a barrel
The IMF on Tuesday lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3 percent in the newly-released World Economic Outlook report, down 0.2 percentage point from its estimation in January.
On Wednesday, oil prices rose after data showed a hefty drop in U.S. gasoline stockpiles and an increase in crude inventories. WTI increased 0.63 U.S. dollar to settle at 64.61 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude rose 1.21 dollars to close at 71.73 dollars a barrel.
In the week ending April 5, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 7.0 million barrels from the previous week. The increase defied market expectation, which forecast a build of 2.29 million barrels of crude oil inventories in the country.
Oil prices fell on Thursday as market participants continued to grapple with concerns over sluggish global demand triggered by economic slowdown. WTI decreased 1.03 dollars to settle at 63.58 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude fell 0.90 dollar to close at 70.83 dollars a barrel.
On Friday, oil prices rose as market sentiment was boosted by a huge deal in the energy industry amid continued signs of tightening global supplies. WTI gained 0.31 dollar to settle at 63.89 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude climbed 0.72 dollar to close at 71.55 dollars a barrel.
U.S. oil giant Chevron Corporation said on Friday it will buy Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in a stock and cash transaction valued at 33 billion U.S. dollars to bolster its position in shale and the liquid natural gas market.
Oil prices have kept gaining momentum since the start of the year. However, a rising U.S. dollar has dragged down the greenback-denominated crude futures, as the U.S. Dollar Index has been keeping uptrend in the last 12 months. U.S. Dollar Index slipped slightly for the week, but it still held on near the 97.00 level.
The U.S. Dollar Index is a measure of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of foreign currencies. Oil is mostly traded in dollars all over the world and a stronger dollar pressures the oil demand.
In the near future, demand growth and geopolitical issues are important factors to affect oil prices. Both OPEC and the International Energy Agency believe the world oil demand will keep uptrend in coming years.