“Oil prices slid more than 3 percent on Friday as U.S. futures fell below $60 a barrel for the first time since December on renewed concerns about rising crude supplies. U.S. and Brent crude futures have slid more than 11 percent from this year’s peak in late January. Brent fell nearly 9 percent for the week while U.S. crude dropped 10 percent, the steepest weekly declines since January 2016,” reports Reuters.
“Futures posted a sixth straight day of losses, wiping away the year’s gains in a string of high-volume trading sessions, pressured by stronger-than-expected supply figures and a surprising ramp-up of the North Sea Forties Pipeline, which shut earlier in the week. Turmoil on Wall Street also pressured crude. During the trading session, the S&P 500 stock index .SPX fell to its lowest level since Oct. 5. The S&P recovered to end the day higher, which helped oil bounce off session lows.”
“It’s never just one factor that slams the market like this. It’s several factors,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates. Oil services company Baker Hughes said total U.S. onshore rigs rose by 26 to 791, highest since January 2017. Drillers have added rigs as oil prices rallied through mid-January.”
“Investors were already worried that rising U.S. crude production will overwhelm efforts by OPEC and other producing nations to cut supply. U.S. output rose to 10.25 million bpd in the most recent weekly figures, which if confirmed would represent a record. The Baker Hughes figures should mean still more supply in coming months,” writes Reuters.
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