Oil prices gained about 2% on Friday after US data showed crude output was declining while fuel demand was growing.
Brent crude futures rose $1.16, or 1.5%, to $79.53 a barrel by 1624 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.99, or 2.7%, to $76.75.
Both benchmarks were set for a weekly loss of about 2-3%, while Brent was also heading for another monthly decline after disappointing US economic data and uncertainty over further interest rate hikes weighed on the demand outlook.
“The market was down much of the week on worries about a looming economic recession and an expansion of the banking crisis with First Republic,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.
“But, today (Friday) there were headlines showing there may be a solution to First Republic’s problems and data pointing to a rise in oil demand and a decline in output,” Flynn said.
US officials are coordinating talks to rescue First Republic Bank, as private-sector efforts led by the bank’s advisers have yet to reach a deal, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2023.
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