Brent oil decreased by more than 4% during the week ending May 21 on fears of slow economic and global oil demand recovery due to rising Covid-19 cases in Asian countries and on worries of a return of Iranian crude to markets from the possible revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $65.85 at 11299 GMT on Friday, posting a 4.4% decrease from Monday when it registered $68.88 per barrel at 0635 GMT.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $62.77 at the same time on Friday, rising over 4.1% relative to $65.46 a barrel on Monday.
Oil prices started the week on a negative note over fears that the pace of economic and global oil demand recovery in many Asian countries would slow down due to the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the region.
Oil prices recorded an almost 3% drop on Wednesday due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, especially in the major oil consumer, India. The country reported the highest daily deaths of 4,529 due to Covid-19 on Wednesday.
By the end of the week, prices came under pressure as negotiators say progress has been achieved in reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, which would raise the possibility of having large volumes of Iranian crude on the market.
However, prices found some support due to demand recovery signs after lockdowns eased in some European countries, including the UK and Portugal, while many US states lifted restrictions allowing businesses to reopen.
The upward momentum in prices was also elevated this week over the less-than-expected increase in US crude stocks. Inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels to 486 million barrels, less than the market expectation of a 1.6 million-barrel rise.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu