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Oil benchmarks on course for biggest weekly losses in 2 years

Category: Economy

Date: 2022-04-01T14:26:06+0000
Oil benchmarks on course for biggest weekly losses in 2 years

Shafaq News / Oil dipped in and out of negative territory on Friday as members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) were due to discuss a further addition of oil reserves to the market alongside a planned 180 million barrel release by the United States.

The benchmark Brent and WTI contracts were both on course for their biggest weekly falls in two years, at 14% and 13% respectively.

Brent crude futures were down 63 cents, or 0.6%, at $104.08 a barrel by 1313 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 99 cents, or 1%, at $99.29.

On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a release of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil for six months from May, the largest release ever from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). 

Members of the IEA were scheduled to meet at 1200 GMT on Friday to discuss a further emergency oil release. 

OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, on Thursday stuck with plans for an increase of 432,000 bpd to their May output target despite Western pressure to add more. 

"The looming flood of U.S. barrels does not change the fact that the market will struggle to find enough supply in the coming months," PVM analyst Stephen Brennock said.

"The U.S. release pales in comparison to expectations that 3 million bpd of Russian oil will be shut in as sanctions bite and buyers spurn purchases."

In a bearish signal for demand, China's commercial hub of Shanghai ground to a halt on Friday after the government locked down most of the city's 26 million residents, aiming to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

(Reuters)

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