Oil futures climbed sharply for a second straight session Friday, with bulls cheered by trade developments even as worrisome demand factors mix with news that domestic supplies hit a nearly two-year high, a combo that sent U.S. benchmark crude into bear territory this week.
Early Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 70 cents, or 1.3%, to $53.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, moving away from the five-month lows hit earlier this week. WTI is headed for a narrowly lower finish for the week.
WTI prices remained about 20% below the most recent high of $66.30 on April 23, according to Dow Jones Market Data. A bear market is traditionally marked by a drop of 20% or more from a recent high.
International benchmark August Brent was up $1.03, or 1.7%, at $62.70 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Before the late-week rebound, front-month contract prices logged their lowest finish since Jan. 28 at midweek, nearly dropping back below $60. Brent prices are trading about 17% below their settlement high seen in April. A finish below $59.656 would mark Brent’s entry into a bear market. Front-month futures are down about 6.8% for the week.
Source : MarketWatch