Volatility in oil business on fears of slow demand, supply uncertainty

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices traded sideways on Friday after rising nearly $1 a barrel on fears of slowing demand in markets as supply uncertainties cooled US economic activity.

Brent crude futures were trading 5 cents, or 0.1%, down at $110.00 a barrel by 0310 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.2%, at $104.46 a barrel. Prices are down about 1.5% in the previous session.

Stefan Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said crude futures were back in a sell-off mode after a fall in Germany’s manufacturing data as well as a lower-than-expected US Manufacturing and Services PMI.

“Under these conditions, higher crude oil prices will become highly vulnerable to any perceived or otherwise increased supply inputs,” Ines said, lashing out at OPEC for hitting the Russian crude oil complex and boosting production. Given the pressure.

Sources said OPEC and allied producing countries, including Russia, will stick to plans for accelerated production increases in August in hopes of easing crude oil prices and inflation as US President Joe Biden plans to visit Saudi Arabia.

The group, known as OPEC+, at its last meeting on June 2, was up from initial plans to add 648,000 barrels per day, or 7% of global demand, in July, and 432,000 barrels per day, by the same amount in August. One month over three months until September.

However, the group is struggling to meet its monthly growth target due to low investment in oil fields by some OPEC members and, more recently, losses in Russian production.

Official weekly estimates for US oil inventories were due to be released on Thursday, the US Energy Information Administration said, but technical problems would delay those figures until next week.

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