Crude oil prices rebound as market tensions ease



Aug. 17 (UPI) — Fading global trade and geopolitical concerns brought the price of crude oil back into positive territory on Friday, but look to finish the week lower.

Brent crude oil prices lost more than 2 percent on Wednesday after the U.S. government reported a build in domestic crude oil inventories. Broader economic concerns were triggered earlier in the week when U.S. President Donald Trump turned his trade ire on NATO ally Turkey.

So far, however, the Turkish economy has been able to weather the storm. Following a contentious summer of tit-for-tat trade action, meanwhile, the Chinese government said it was gearing up for economic talks with the United States later this month.

“While oil holds the 200-day moving average, after a major seasonal sell-off, the concerns about a serious demand slowdown are most likely overblown,” Phil Flynn, a market analyst at the PRICE Futures Group in Chicago, said in a daily emailed market.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was up 1.22 percent as of 9:17 a.m. EDT to $72.27 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, was up 1.07 percent to $66.16 per barrel.

The price for Brent crude could be on pace for a net loss for the week, however. The global benchmark closed Monday at $72.61 per barrel.

The price of oil could move later in the day when Baker Hughes releases its weekly rig count. A barometer for possible gains in production, a higher rig count, particularly in North America, could send the market lower.

The American Petroleum Institute, a lobby group that provides key market data on supply and demand, has noted that gains in U.S. crude oil productions were offsetting declines from some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Analysts will also react to a gauge of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, due out at 10 a.m. EDT. The July reading was marginally lower than June. Analysts are expecting the index for August to be more or less unchanged from the previous month.

Kevin Matras, the executive vice president for Zacks Investment Research, added that the broader market may be in a catch-up mode.

“Stay bullish,” he said in an emailed market report.



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