Crude oil futures - Weekly review: August 15 - 19

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Forexpros - Crude oil prices inched higher on Friday, bouncing off an eight-day low as prices were supported by weakness in the U.S. dollar, however mounting concerns over the global economic outlook limited gains.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD82.75 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, dropping 3.65% over the week, its fourth consecutive weekly decline.

Crude prices fell as much as 2.5% to hit an eight-day low of USD79.41 a barrel on Friday, as escalating worries over prospects for global economic growth weighed on future oil demand expectations.

However, oil prices erased losses as the dollar weakened against the euro and fell to a record low against the yen.

Oil prices typically strengthen when the U.S. currency weakens as the dollar-priced commodity becomes cheaper for holders of other currencies.

On Thursday, crude prices plunged nearly 6% after a flurry of weak U.S. data boosted speculation the U.S. economic recovery was stalling.

Among the disappointing U.S. economic reports was data on existing home sales and weekly jobless claims, which both came in below market expectations, while an index of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region plunged to the lowest level since March 2009 in August.

Energy traders pay close attention to manufacturing numbers, as they are used as indicators for future fuel demand growth.

Weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released Wednesday painted a mixed picture of energy demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 4.2 million barrels last week, confounding expectations for a 0.5 million barrel decline, while motor gasoline inventories declined by 3.5 million barrels, outstripping expectations for a 2.0 million barrel withdrawal.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for October delivery traded at USD109.17 a barrel by close of trade on Friday.

The Brent contract advanced 1.25% on the week and was up USD26.42 on its U.S. counterpart, the widest spread between the two contracts on record, as a disruption to supplies in the North Sea and Nigeria supported Brent prices.

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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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