Brent Picks Up Ahead Of The Weekend
After falling 2.7 percent on Thursday, Brent crude oil gained on Friday and traded at $108.38 at 8:55 GMT. The commodity has been trading volatility due to a combination of asset managers rebalancing their portfolios and the possibility of an influx of supply.
U.S. crude fell as investors speculated about the nation's future inventory data. In recent weeks, the U.S. has been posting large inventory declines, but CNBC reported that many believe they were a product of year-end tax management rather than true demand increases. For that reason, some are expecting to see heavy inventory builds in the near term.
Brent prices are expected to remain volatile as supply continues to outweigh demand, but the fragile Middle East keeps a floor under the commodity.
In Libya, recent strikes could be nearing an end as the nation is working to reopen one of its largest oilfields, El Sharara. The nation's oil exports have been more than halved since tribesmen and civil servants began striking and closed down Libyan oil export terminals in July. The opening of El Sharara over the weekend would be a huge step forward, but the past few months have presented several similar announcements from Libya, none of which were carried out.
Moving forward, investors will be watching for developments in Libya as well as keeping an eye on global economic data. Manufacturing PMI scores released on Thursday showed that Europe was getting back on track, but that China, the world's second largest oil consumer, was still suffering from stunted growth.
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