Oil Rises As Wall Street Bounces Off Lows, Crude Posts Weekly Loss

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A worker pours liquid oil into a barrel at the delayed coker unit of the Duna oil refinery operated by MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc in Szazhalombatta, Hungary, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Hungary refiner Mol may take part in oil exploration in Montenegro after country calls tender in July, daily Magyar Hirlap says. Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Oil Rises As Wall Street Bounces Off Lows, Crude Posts Weekly Loss
by Reuters|Jessica Resnick-Ault|Friday, March 02, 2018

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Reuters
NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Friday as Wall Street stocks bounced off session lows, but benchmark crude futures posted their first weekly decline in three weeks on fears U.S. plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium could squeeze economic growth and jitters about rising U.S. crude production.

On Thursday, oil followed the stock market lower after President Donald Trump said he would impose hefty tariffs to protect U.S. producers. Investors feared the move would spark a trade war.

The U.S. oil and gas industry slammed the tariff plan, saying it would kill energy jobs by raising costs for big infrastructure projects.

Oil slid along with equities again early on Friday, but oil rebounded with U.S. stocks as the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq moved into positive territory.

Brent futures rose 54 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $64.37 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $61.25.

For the week, Brent was down about 4 percent and WTI down more than 3 percent.

The premium of the Brent front-month contract over WTI briefly fell to its lowest since August before edging up by the market close.

“Tariffs brought concerns that economic growth will be unable to boost demand,” said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy. Crude prices remained under pressure from concerns that U.S. production may be high enough to offset output cuts from OPEC and Russia, he said.

On Wednesday, the government reported that U.S. crude stocks rose faster than expected while gasoline inventories posted a surprisingly large increase.

“We are being driven by the pickup in U.S. inventories and in general terms the market went a bit too far, too soon,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“Then we have the volatility in the U.S. dollar and the implications of the tariff news to factor in,” he said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets for a dinner on Monday in Houston with U.S. shale firms, the latest sign of the producer group widening talks about how best to tame a global oil glut.

U.S. crude output slipped in the last month of 2017, but in November hit an all-time high of 10.057 million barrels per day. Weekly data showed another record and further gains are expected.

(Additional reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Ahmad Ghaddar in London; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Gregorio)

Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters.

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Godwin Okafor is a financial journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and the Founder Naija247news Media Ltd He has over 16 experiences in journalism, which cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career in Business Day, Where he was a senior editorial graphic artist, before he left to start Naija247news, An Online Financial Newspaper in 2010. He has won series of awards and he is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.com and also sits on the board of Students In Business Awards, (SIBA).

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