Oil prices were higher on Friday and headed for another strong weekly gain, as supply worries returned to the fore.
- West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery CL.1,
+1.28%CL00, +1.28%CLM22, +1.28%rose $1.49, or 1.3%, to $109.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- July Brent crude BRN00,
+1.15%BRNN22, +1.15%, the global benchmark, rose $1.31, or 1.2%, to $112.21 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
- June natural-gas futures NGM22,
-8.70%retreated 7% to $8.164 per million British thermal units. The contract jumped 4.4% to close at $8.783 per million British thermal units on Thursday, its highest finish since Aug. 1, 2008.
- June gasoline RBM22,
+3.28%jumped 3% to $3.769 a gallon, while June heating oil HOM22, -0.85%pulled back 0.8% to $4.008 a gallon.
Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude were poised for weekly gains of nearly 5%, marking the third straight weekly gain for each, according to FactSet.
“In addition, the EU ban on Russian oil imports and a surprise U.S. announcement about starting to refill its SPR [strategic petroleum reserves] already this autumn also underpinning the price,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
In Brent, the next level of resistance is the April high around $115 with support at $110, he said.
Oil futures remained higher after Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. oil rigs rose by 5 this week to 557, while gas rigs were up 2 to 146.
Analysts said an upswing for oil on Thursday was curbed by the strong selloff for Wall Street stocks and dollar strength. The latter can serve as a headwind for dollar-priced commodities, making them more expensive compared than those based in other currencies.