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HomeBusinessOil prices rise to $75/barrel, but head for fourth straight quarterly decline

Oil prices rise to $75/barrel, but head for fourth straight quarterly decline

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Oil prices rose above $75 a barrel on Friday but were on course for a fourth consecutive quarter of losses amid concerns over sluggish global economic activity and fuel demand.

Benchmark Brent crude futures for September delivery rose 78 cents or 1.05% to stand at $75.29 at 0912 GMT. The less-traded front-month contract, which expires on Friday, was up 91 cents at $75.25.

The contract was on track for a 6 percent decline in the three months to the end of June, marking a fourth straight quarterly decline. Prices are at their lowest in 2 years.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose 65 cents or 0.9 percent to $70.51. The contract is down 7 percent on a quarterly basis, its second consecutive quarterly drop.

Inflationary pressure and rising interest rates in key economies and a slower-than-expected recovery in Chinese manufacturing and consumption have weighed on markets in recent months.

But signs of strengthening U.S. economic activity and sharp declines in U.S. oil inventories last week offered support.

READ ALSO: Prices of 12.5 kg cooking gas decline 7.6% in May to N9,537 ~NBS

Saudi Arabia’s plans to cut output by a further 1 million barrels per day in July in addition to a broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply into 2024 offers further support.

“Despite the announcements of two fresh rounds of cuts from OPEC+/Saudi Arabia, crude prices have largely remained below $80 a barrel as the market has been driven less by fundamentals and more by macroeconomic concerns,” HSBC analysts said in a note.

“We think this will continue to be the case for part of the summer, although the deep deficit of around 2.3 million barrels forecast for 2H23 should help to spur some upwards price momentum.”

Meanwhile, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter was revised up to a 2.0 percent annualised rate from the 1.3 percent pace reported previously.

The Federal Reserve is likely to resume its rate-rise campaign after a break earlier in the month, Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled on Thursday after a fresh slew of stronger-than-expected economic data.

U.S. oil rig count data, an indicator of future supply, will be released later on Friday.

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