U.S.-based and international crude-oil futures settled higher on Friday, contributing to a gain for the week, but worries about a recession pulled prices lower for the month.
Traders also awaited a decision on production levels by major producers, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies scheduled to meet next week.
West Texas Intermediate Crude
for September delivery gained $2.20, or 2.3%, to settle at $98.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices based on the front month ended 4.1% higher for the week, but down nearly 6.8% for the month, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Global benchmark September Brent crude
which expired at the end of the trading session, rose $2.87, or 2.7%, to end at $110.01 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Front-month prices climbed 6.6% for the week and fell 4.2% for the month. The October contract
settled at $103.97, up $2.14, or 2.1%.
Back on Nymex, August gasoline
rose 0.7% to $3.4881 per gallon, posting a 4.4% loss for the month. August heating oil
settled at $3.6247 a gallon, down 1.7% for the session and losing 7% for the month. The August contracts expired at the end of the session.
September natural gas
gained 1.2% to settle at $8.229 per million British thermal units, with prices up nearly 52% for the month.
What analysts are saying
“Ongoing fears of slowing economic growth continue to fuel the bearish sentiment, with the global commodity” negative month-to-date, Lukman Otunuga, manager, market analysis, at FXTM, told MarketWatch.
Investors await the meeting of OPEC and its allies —popularly known as “OPEC+” — expected next week, but some rumors that OPEC+ is planning on leaving its production targets unchanged have helped to bolster crude prices.
“Oil prices are rising again amid reports that OPEC+ will leave output targets unchanged next month when it meets on Wednesday. Some sources did reportedly suggest a small increase would be discussed which would appear to align more with the optimistic view of a US administration official yesterday,” wrote Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
Still, the week ahead could be volatile, said Otunuga.
That’s thanks to the OPEC+ meeting, “especially after President Joe Biden’s recent request for Saudi Arabia to increase oil production,” he said.
“Whatever the outcome of the meeting, it could have a strong impact on oil prices,” he said.