Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: August 14 - 18

Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: August 14 - 18

Investing.com  | Aug 13, 2017 05:44AM ET

Oil ends the week lower as rising OPEC output weighs

Investing.com - Oil prices settled higher on Friday, but still ended the week with a loss amid lingering concerns over a global supply glut.

Aside from supply and demand, investors also closely followed developments in the U.S.-North Korea standoff.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract tacked on 23 cents, or around 0.5%, to end at $48.82 a barrel. It slumped to its lowest in around two-and-a-half weeks at $47.98 earlier in the session.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for October delivery inched up 20 cents, or about 0.4%, to settle at $52.10 a barrel by close of trade.

For the week, WTI lost 76 cents, or about 1.5%, while Brent dipped 32 cents, or roughly 0.6%, amid indications that OPEC members boosted production in July, despite the current pact to reduce output.

The International Energy Agency said OPEC's compliance with the cuts had fallen to 75% last month, the lowest since the deal began in January.

The bearish compliance data comes a day after OPEC released its monthly report, showing production from the group rose further in July, led by gains in Libya and Nigeria, two members exempt from the cuts, and top exporter Saudi Arabia.

OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

However, so far, the deal has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale output.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported Friday that its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the U.S. ticked up by three rigs to a total of 768 last week.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for September rose 1.0 cent, or about 0.6%, to end at $1.613 on Friday. It closed around 2% lower for the week.

September heating oil finished up 0.3 cents, or 0.2%, at $1.634 a gallon, ending roughly 0.9% lower for the week.

Natural gas futures for September delivery shed 0.2 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $2.983 per million British thermal units. It saw a weekly gain of nearly 7.5%, the biggest weekly price rally of the year.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, August 15

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, August 16

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday, August 17

The U.S. government is set to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, August 18

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

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