(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) Oil prices were very slightly down in Asian morning trade on
Friday as bullish sentiment about Chinese demand and potential
Middle Eastern supply disruptions was tempered by uncertainty over
U.S. economic data on Friday, trend reports with reference to reuters .
Brent futures, which have risen nearly 6% this week, were down
19 cents, or -0.24%, at $79.08 a barrel at 0415 GMT. U.S. West
Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 1 cent, or -0.01%, to
$74.36, having gained about 8% this week.
Markets are now waiting for U.S. spending and inflation data on
Friday and the resulting impact on the U.S. dollar.
"The market may maintain its rebound if today's U.S. PCE offers
positive signals to the markets that US inflation is expected to
cool further," said Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets in
"Disappointing data may cause concerns about Fed policy again
and cap the recent gains," she added.
Prices have ticked up this week over optimism surrounding
China's economic recovery. China's manufacturing activity rose in
March at a slower pace compared with a record-breaking expansion in
February, but still exceeded expectations by economists in a
Industrial activity in China has become a key determinant of
prices in recent weeks after its ending of coronavirus-related
restrictions, amid weaker global demand.
Oil prices are set to cap a second straight week of gains after
the largest bank failure after the 2008 financial crisis spooked
traders and roiled markets. Worries about a full-blown global
banking crisis have abated after two banks, in the U.S. and Europe,
Prices rose more than 1% on Thursday because of lower U.S. crude
stockpiles and a halt to exports from Iraq's Kurdistan region,
offseting pressure from a smaller-than-expected cut to Russian
Producers have shut in or reduced output at several oilfields in
the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq following a
halt to the northern export pipeline. More outages are on the
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude oil
stockpiles fell unexpectedly in the week to March 24 to a two-year
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