Oil headed for its first weekly loss since November as the prospect of an open war in the Persian Gulf receded, easing fears of a supply disruption in the Middle East.
Futures in New York were little changed, set to decline more than a 5% this week. The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to strike Iran while America received indications that the Islamic Republic has asked militias in the Middle East not to carry out attacks against U.S. interests, Vice President Mike Pence said in comments to Fox.
The escalation in conflict between the U.S. and Iran after last week’s assassination of top military general Qassem Soleimani sent the oil market into turmoil this week with prices swinging wildly from day to day. While there’s still nervousness that another flare up in tensions could result in oil facilities being targeted, the global market has a comfortable supply cushion with OPEC members sitting on huge amounts of spare capacity and U.S. production increasing.
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery slipped 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $59.651 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:53 a.m. in Singapore. The contract is poised to lose 5.6%, or $3.55, this week.
Brent futures for March settlement lost 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $65.37 on Thursday, after rising about 1% in earlier trading.
Source : Bloomberg