Singapore: According to Reuters, oil prices continued to decline on Friday due to worries about demand and doubts about the viability of a nuclear agreement between the US and Iran, and they appeared destined to record their second consecutive weekly loss.
By 7:04 a.m. Saudi Arabian time, the price of Brent crude futures had decreased by 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $75.61 per barrel, while the price of US West Texas Intermediate crude futures had decreased by 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $70.94.
Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, predicts that oil prices will remain within a range of about $3 dollars above and below $70 for WTI in the near future.
After the US and Iran both denied a Middle East Eye report that they were close to a nuclear deal, both benchmarks dropped by about $1 on Thursday, recovering from their earlier losses of more than $3.
After losing about the same percentage the week before, they were on track to lose about 1 percent this week.
Following Saudi Arabia's weekend commitment to significant output cuts, oil prices rose early in the week. However, those gains were quickly erased due to rising US fuel stocks and weak Chinese export data.
Yoshida claimed that concerns about a slow uptick in China's fuel demand were outweighing concerns about a tighter supply and higher demand as the US enters the driving season, both of which could raise prices.
China's economic recovery has disappointed, so crude prices didn't benefit from it, according to OANDA analyst Edward Moya.
The US Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates at its meeting on June 13-14, according to a Reuters poll of economists, but Moya added that the lack of comparable signals from other significant central banks was clouding the outlook for oil demand.