Crude oil prices moved lower near the $45 per barrel mark on Friday, amid gains in the US dollar and global equity markets. Global benchmark Brent futures hovered within a range of 50 cents near $45 per barrel, between $44.62 and $45.08 per barrel, having started the day mildly stronger at $45.03 compared to their previous close of $44.90 per barrel. At 2:23 pm, the Brent futures contract quoted at $44.69 per barrel, down 21 cents – or 0.47 per cent – compared to its previous close.
WTI crude oil moved in a range of $42.44-42.96 per barrel on Friday.
Crude oil prices were on course to register a third weekly gain in a row, amid efforts by top producers to hold back output amid concerns about the pace of economic recovery from the fallout from COVID-19.
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)’s Brent futures are considered a benchmark for global oil markets, besides the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex)’s WTI crude futures.
An internal report by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC), showed the group known as OPEC+ was focused on ensuring that members who had overproduced against their commitments would cut their output, as flagged following an OPEC+ meeting on Wednesday.
Analysts said they could see Brent holding near $45 a barrel but did not expect the market to push much higher in the near term.
News agency Reuters reported that OPEC+ found some members would need to slash output by 2.31 million barrels per day to make up for their recent oversupply.
At Thursday’s close, Brent crude is down nearly 32 per cent so far this year.
In April, the contract had hit a 21-year low of $15.98 per barrel as the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdowns hampered global oil demand.