Some analysts and traders were pricing oil higher in the near-term. Hans Van Cleef, senior energy economist in Amsterdam for ABN Amro, said Brent's break above the $36.25 technical resistance indicated "more short covering in the coming days." Jeffrey Grossman, dealer at New York's BRG Brokerage, said he expected U.S. crude to trade at over $40 by end of March. Strong gasoline demand in the United States, and an upward revision to the country's economic growth for the fourth quarter, helped boost expectations of oil consumption.
U.S. crude closed lower in choppy trade, but still recorded weekly gains, as supply disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria provided supported.
Pipeline outages in Iraq and Nigeria have removed more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the market for at least the next two weeks. The disruptions should offset recent increases to supply from Iran, analysts said. Also on Friday, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported the total number of rigs drilling for crude in the United States fell by 13 to a total of 400 in the previous week. At this time last year, there were 986 rigs in U.S. fields.
U.S. stock prices hit their highest in nearly two months after an upward revision to the country's economic growth for the fourth quarter. A raft of other U.S. economic data also boosted Wall Street, which has traded in tandem with oil for weeks.
"Equities have been in a rally mode and with the technical picture for oil becoming bullish in the short term, we have a risk-on trade in crude," said Chris Jarvis at Caprock Risk Management, an energy markets consultancy in Frederick, Maryland. Brent crude futures were trading at $35.12 a barrel, down 17 cents from their last close, but rose to $37 earlier in the session, the highest since Jan. 5. For the week, Brent was up about 7 percent.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery closed 29 cents lower, at $32.78 a barrel, but still managed to gain about 3 percent for the week.
Some analysts and traders were pricing oil higher in the near-term.
Hans Van Cleef, senior energy economist in Amsterdam for ABN Amro, said Brent's break above the $36.25 technical resistance indicated "more short covering in the coming days."
Jeffrey Grossman, dealer at New York's BRG Brokerage, said he expected U.S. crude to trade at over $40 by end of March.
what a day! had a good day on another oily and it makes a nice change to RRL joining in instead of the normal bad days eh.. US GDP helping out, but still need oil to get through $38..then I'll break out the cupcakes and have some nice tea.
I'm sure normal service will resume at some point though until then it may well be worth keeping an eye on to try and make a more monies....
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