Shutterstock photo

Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: June 16 - 20

Shutterstock photo

Shutterstock photo - - West Texas Intermediate and Brent oil futures both rallied to the highest levels since September 2013 on Friday, as escalating tensions in Iraq underlined concerns over a disruption to supplies from the Middle East.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude oil for delivery in July rose to a daily high of $107.68 a barrel, the most since September 19, before coming off the highs to settle at $106.91 by close of trade, up 0.36%, or 38 cents.

For the week, Nymex oil rallied 3.97%, or $4.25 a barrel, the biggest weekly gain since December.

Oil futures were likely to find support at $104.35 a barrel, the low from June 12 and resistance at $107.68 a barrel, the high from June 13.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery hit a daily high of $114.07 a barrel on Friday, before trimming gains to settle at $112.46, up 0.04%, or 4 cents.

The July Brent contract rallied 3.42%, or $3.85 a barrel, on the week.

Meanwhile the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $5.55 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, compared to $5.95 in the preceding week.

Oil traders continued to track a rebellion in Iraq led by a Sunni Islamist group that threatened to take Baghdad after capturing key cities elsewhere in the country earlier in the week.

Markets breathed a sigh of relief, however, after U.S. President Barack Obama said he won't sent troops to Iraq and added oil continues to flow normally out of the country, which sent oil prices off earlier highs.

Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC's second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, in the U.S., data released Friday showed that that U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly deteriorated in June.

The preliminary reading of the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for June came in at 81.2, down from 81.9 in May, missing expectations for an uptick to 83.0.

The report came a day after data showed that U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in May, but the previous month was revised higher.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May, falling short of expectations for a 0.6% gain. However, retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.

In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on the outcome of Wednesday's Federal Reserve policy meeting.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers decreased their bullish bets in New York-traded oil futures in the week ending June 10.

Net longs totaled 341,680 contracts as of last week, down 0.4% from net longs of 343,005 in the preceding week. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

Read more News on and download the new Stocks & Forex App for Android!

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.

Other Topics