Oil slips to $45 on demand concerns, set for weekly rise - REUTERS

AUGUST 07, 2020

BY  Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil dipped to around $45 a barrel on Friday on worries that a demand recovery would slow due to a resurgence of coronavirus cases, although a pledge from OPEC member Iraq to cut oil output further in August lent support.

FILE PHOTO: Pumpjacks are seen in Lagunillas, Ciudad Ojeda, in the state of Zulia, Venezuela December 22, 2015. REUTERS/Isaac Urrutia

The resurgence of infections remains a key issue for the market and demand outlook. Tallies show cases in the United States are rising in a number of states. India reported on Friday a record daily jump in infections.

Brent crude LCOc1 fell 13 cents, or 0.3%, to $44.96 by 0820 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 also slipped 13 cents to $41.82.

Traders were also watching talks in the United States over the next coronavirus stimulus package. Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress and top aides to President Donald Trump failed to make substantial progress on Thursday.

“Hopes are still running high for another round of fiscal stimulus,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. “Failure to extend aid would deal a massive blow to the recovering U.S. economy and the fragile oil demand outlook.”

Brent and WTI are set for weekly gains of around 4%. Prices have recovered from lows reached in April, when Brent slipped below $16, a 21-year low, thanks in part to a record deal on supply cuts by OPEC and its allies.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister and his Iraqi counterpart stressed their countries’ full commitment to the deal, Iraq’s state news agency said on Friday.

Iraq has been a laggard in fully meeting its pledge.

Over the week, a weaker U.S. dollar helped support prices by making the commodity more attractive to buyers holding other currencies.

The dollar index, up on Friday, is expected to weaken ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls figures later on Friday that is forecast to show job creation slowed in July.

Additional reporting by Sonali Paul and Shu Zhang; Editing by Edmund Blair


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