Weekly oil prices edge up amid concerns over global demand, Mideast tension

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-24 02:57:38|Editor: yan
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HOUSTON, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices edged up for the week ending Nov. 22, with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery up 0.09 percent and Brent crude oil for January up 0.14 percent.

WTI closed the week at 57.77 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude finished the week at 63.39 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

WTI and Brent crude prices have increased 27.22 percent and 17.83 percent, respectively, so far this year, falling from their peak levels in April when the growth of WTI hit over 40 percent, and Brent crude over 30 percent.

On Monday and Tuesday, oil prices fell on fears of ongoing oversupply and concerns over global trade, as well as a stronger greenback, with WTI down 2.51 dollars and Brent crude down 2.39 dollars, respectively.

On Wednesday and Thursday, oil prices gained as concerns over geopolitical tension in Middle East outpaced the tensions between China and the United States. WTI and Brent crude increased by 3.37 dollars and 3.06 dollars, respectively.

Yemen's Houthi rebels said on Thursday that they shot down a spy drone near the border with Saudi Arabia. Earlier on Wednesday, they said they fired an anti-aircraft missile to force away an F-15 jet of the Saudi-led coalition over the northern province of Saada.

Moreover, U.S. crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 1.379 million barrels during the week ending Nov. 15, less than analysts' expected growth of 1.543 million barrels, which implies greater demand and bullish for crude prices.

Oil prices dropped on Friday although the number of active oil drilling rigs in the United States dipped by 3 to 671 for the week ending Nov. 22, paring gains of the previous two days, as investors kept a close eye on the developments regarding global trade. WTI and Brent crude decreased 0.81 dollar and 0.58 dollar, respectively.

Oil prices have kept gaining momentum since the start of the year due to some geopolitical concerns and the OPEC's decision of production cut. However, the momentum has slowed down, mainly because of the concerns over downturn in demand for crude oil.

The slowing global economy continued to be a major headwind for crude oil. The slower economic growth of the world will lead to less demand for oil, which in turn would put downward pressure on oil prices.

Moreover, a rising U.S. dollar in the past months has dragged down the greenback-denominated crude futures as the U.S. Dollar Index has been keeping uptrend since mid-2018. The dollar index finished the week higher, reaching above the 98.00 handle helped by better-than-expected U.S. data.

For the coming week, the investors will continue to pay close attention to clues concerning market demand and global trade, while the U.S.-China trade negotiations continue to drive market sentiment.