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Markets

Crude oil futures - Weekly outlook: April 22 - 26

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Investing.com - New York-traded crude oil futures ended Friday's session modestly higher, following sharp losses earlier in the week, as investors returned to the market to seek bargains after energy prices fell to the lowest level since December on Thursday.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in May added 0.2% Friday to settle the week at USD87.95 a barrel by close of trade.

On the week, the May contract lost 3.15%, the third consecutive weekly decline. The May crude contract is due to expire at the end of trading on Monday, April 22.

Meanwhile, the more actively traded contract for June delivery ended Friday's session at USD88.23 a barrel, easing up 0.25%. On Thursday, the June contract fell to a four-month low of USD85.92 a barrel.

Oil prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions, as investors exited the market amid concerns over the global economic outlook and its impact on future oil demand.

Nymex oil prices have lost nearly 7%, or almost USD6.50 per barrel, since April 11.

Worries over the global economy intensified earlier in the week after the International Monetary Fund cut its 2013 forecast for global growth to 3.3%, down from its January projection of 3.5%.

The growth projection for China was trimmed to 8% from 8.2%, while the growth outlook for the U.S. was lowered to 1.9% from 2%.

The U.S. and China are the world's two largest oil consuming nations.

In the week ahead, investors will be awaiting Friday's U.S. data on first quarter growth amid lingering concerns that the U.S. economic recovery is losing momentum.

The U.S. is the world's biggest oil consuming country, responsible for almost 22% of global oil demand.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for June delivery added 0.4% on Friday to settle the week at USD99.50 a barrel, amid speculation the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut oil production quotas in response to the recent slump in prices.

On Thursday, Brent prices fell to a low of USD96.76 a barrel, the weakest level since July 2.

The London-traded Brent contract lost 3.1% over the week, while the spread between the Brent and the crude contracts stood at USD11.27 a barrel.

The European benchmark has been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions, amid growing concerns over the euro zone's economic outlook.

The IMF said earlier in the week that the euro zone remains the weakest part of the global economy. The 17 countries using the euro accounted for about 12% of world demand last year.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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