Oil prices slip on cloudy demand outlook, but poised for weekly gain


Shafaq News / Oil prices dropped in Asia trade on Friday amid an uncertain demand outlook, though benchmark contracts were headed for weekly gains as recession fears eased.

Brent crude futures fell 49 cents, or 0.5%, to $99.11 a barrel at 0330 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 50 cents, or 0.5%, to $93.84 a barrel.

Brent was on track to climb more than 4% for the week, recouping part of last week's 14% tumble, its biggest weekly decline since April 2020 amid fears that rising inflation and interest rate hikes will hit economic growth and fuel demand.

WTI was heading for a weekly gain of more than 5%, recouping about half of the previous week's loss.

Uncertainty capped price gains as the market absorbed contrasting demand views from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The trade-off for growth may continue to limit oil prices' upside, with key psychological resistance for Brent at the $100 a barrel level, Yeap added.

On Thursday, OPEC cut its forecast for growth in world oil demand in 2022 by 260,000 barrels per day (bpd). It now expects demand to rise by 3.1 million bpd this year.

That contradicts the view from the IEA, which raised its forecast for demand growth to 2.1 million bpd, due to gas-to-oil switching in power generation as a result of soaring gas prices.


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