Oil rises as International Energy Agency boosts demand forecast
By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed more than 2% on Friday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) bumped up its 2020 demand forecast but record-breaking new coronavirus cases in the United States tempered expectations for a fast recovery in fuel consumption. Prices also found support after data showed U.S
By Devika Krishna Kumar
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed more than 2% on Friday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) bumped up its 2020 demand forecast but record-breaking new coronavirus cases in the United States tempered expectations for a fast recovery in fuel consumption.
Prices also found support after data showed U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to a record low for a 10th week in a row.
A strong stock market also boosted oil prices. A slate of economic data, including a record monthly payrolls addition, pointed to a revival in U.S. business activity in June.
U.S. crude was little changed on the week while Brent notched a weekly gain of about 1%.
The Paris-based IEA raised its demand forecast to 92.1 million barrels per day (bpd), up 400,000 bpd from its outlook last month.
Still, more than 60,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States on Thursday, a daily record and the highest daily count for any country since the pathogen emerged in China last year.
"While the oil market has undoubtedly made progress ... the large, and in some countries, accelerating number of COVID-19 cases is a disturbing reminder that the pandemic is not under control," the IEA said.
Graphic: Demand supply balance, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/oakvealagvr/IEA%202.JPG
Prices had dropped early in the session after Libya National Oil Corporation announced it had lifted its force majeure on all oil exports after a half-year blockade by eastern forces.
"The expected re-start of Libyan exports will only add to the vulnerability of the OPEC+ production restraint in keeping the energy complex heavily reliant upon a renewed expansion in risk appetite for any advances back to around this week’s highs," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Oil inventories remain bloated due to the evaporation of demand for fuel during the initial outbreak.
"If we take a bigger picture view of the market, what stands out to us is that we have not yet seen much of a decline on the global inventory front," JBC said.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose by nearly 6 million barrels last week; analysts had forecast a decline. [EIA/S]
Mounting tension between the United States and China also pressured prices. China said it would impose reciprocal measures in response to U.S. sanctions on Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority.
(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Louise Heavens and David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.