Crude oil prices were up for Friday’s trading start as crude stocks in the U.S. fell by more than market expectations, and prices were also supported with the new signs of trade talks between the United States and China emerged.
Moreover, a looming hurricane in Florida increased the worries on U.S. crude oil production fall in the Gulf of Mexico.
International benchmark Brent crude gained 1% on Thursday to close at $60.38 per barrel, and on Friday prices changed little trading at $60.20 a barrel at 0700 GMT.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) soared by 1.48% during the previous session to finish the day at $56.63 per barrel. At 0700 GMT Friday, its price saw little movement trading at $56.27 per barrel.
The jump in crude prices came after American Petroleum Institute data late Tuesday showed that U.S. crude oil inventories decreased for the second time in four weeks by 11.1 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 23, against the market expectation of a decline of 2 million barrels.
On Thursday, the United States and China gave signs that they will resume trade talks, discussing the next round of in-person negotiations in September ahead of a looming deadline for additional U.S. tariffs.
The Hurricane Dorian toward Florida increased fears that offshore U.S. crude producers may decrease or stop the production, if the storm passes into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.
According to the US National Hurricane Center, The Hurricane Dorian is heading toward landfall on the Atlantic coast of Florida over the weekend and may enter into the eastern Gulf of Mexico next week. It is forecast to strengthen and become a highly dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Sunday.
By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu