• Monday, May 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Brent inches upwards

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Brent crude futures rose towards $94 per barrel after a three-day slide pulled prices to their lowest since 2012, but the overall bearish tone appears intact amid ample supply.

The crude benchmark is set to end lower for a fourth week in five, having fallen more than 15 percent this year as global supplies have remained high despite rising conflict in the Middle East.

The turmoil in Iraq sent Brent to a nine-month high of $115.71 per barrel in June, but prices have fallen since, with no disruptions to global oil supply and Libyan output even rising.

New tensions in the Middle East are cropping up, however. Turkey’s parliament authorised the government on Thursday to order military action against Islamic State as the insurgents tightened their grip on a Syrian border town, sending thousands more Kurdish refugees into Turkey.

Brent for November delivery was up $0.36 at $93.78 per barrel. US November crude added $0.39 to $91.40 per barrel.

Some analysts say only a cut in output by the OPEC may rescue oil prices as expectations rise that they would agree to do so at their meeting next month in Vienna.

While some OPEC countries are calling for supply cuts, however, other core members are betting winter demand will revive the market, suggesting the group is no closer to any collective steps.