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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: January 30 - February 3

Investing.com -

Investing.com - Oil futures finished lower on Friday, logging a modest weekly loss, as investors turned their attention to rising production in the U.S. and away from OPEC and other producers' commitment to curbing global oversupply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in March slumped 61 cents, or around 1.1%, to end at $53.17 a barrel by close of trade. Futures touched a high of $54.08 earlier, the strongest level since January 6.

For the week, New York-traded oil futures lost 5 cents, or about 0.1%.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery declined 72 cents, or nearly 1.3%, to settle at $55.45 a barrel by close of trade Friday. Prices climbed to a three-week high of $56.55 in the prior session.

London-traded Brent futures scored a gain of 7 cents, or approximately 0.1%, on the week.

Prices dropped to the lowest levels of the session after oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. increased by 15 last week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks.

That brought the total count to 566, the most since November 2015.

The data raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

Futures have been trading in a narrow range around the low-to-mid $50s over the past month as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries have made a strong start to lowering their oil output under the first such pact in more than a decade as global producers look to reduce oversupply and support prices.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for February dipped 1.5 cents, or 1% to $1.527 a gallon. It ended down about 2.5% for the week.

February heating oil shed 2.2 cents, or 1.4%, to finish at $1.618 a gallon. For the week, the fuel lost around 1.7%.

Natural gas futures for March delivery slipped 3.9 cents, or nearly 1.2%, to $3.358 per million British thermal units. It posted a weekly gain of around 0.3%.

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.

Traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further 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, January 31

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

Wednesday, February 1

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

Thursday, February 2

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

Friday, February 3

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

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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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