Oil prices hold ground, but set for 4 pct weekly fall

Crude Oil

Brent crude futures traded Friday afternoon at $80.67 per barrel, up from $57.17 per barrel on October 13, 2017.

Oil edged further above $80 a barrel on Friday as a rally in equities lent support, though prices pared most of their gain after a closely watched forecaster deemed supply adequate and the outlook for demand weakening.

"For many developing countries, higher global prices coincide with currencies depreciating against the United States dollar, so the threat of economic damage is more acute", it added. In the group's updated oil supply and demand forecasts released Thursday, they cut their demand estimates due to expectations for lower economic growth while supplies should increase from non-OPEC producers, writes Reuters. "For many developing countries, higher worldwide prices coincide with currencies depreciating against the US dollar, so the threat of economic damage is more acute".

“At the heart of this softening oil demand backdrop are a myriad of downward pressures on the global economy, ” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

"The market absorbed some effects of sanctions on Iran and the oil prices are more likely to go up 120 to 130 USA dollars per barrel, that require the export from Iran would go much lower, " said Richard Nephew, senior research scholar with Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University. “They include rising trade tensions, Fed policy tightening, and emerging-market weakness.”. According to data from cargo tracking and intelligence company Kpler, China purchased 1.58 million barrels of heavy Canadian crude oil for loading in September, up by almost 50 percent compared to the 1.05 million barrels it imported from Canada in April. That was much larger than what analysts had expected.

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The increase is the biggest weekly gain since mid-August. Still, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price for November delivery and Brent oil price for December delivery lost 4.03 percent and 4.43 percent, respectively.

Earlier this week, natural-gas futures climbed to their highest settlement since January.

Hurricane Michael weighs on Gulf of Mexico oil output.

US natural-gas supplies in storage stand at about 17% below the five-year average, according to the EIA.

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