Oil slips below $45 on demand doubts, rising supply

By Alex Lawler LONDON (Reuters) - Oil slipped further below $45 a barrel on Friday, giving up this week's gains, under pressure from doubts about demand recovery due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and rising supply.

Reuters August 15, 2020 01:08:40 IST
Oil slips below $45 on demand doubts, rising supply

Oil slips below 45 on demand doubts rising supply

By Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil slipped further below $45 a barrel on Friday, giving up this week's gains, under pressure from doubts about demand recovery due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and rising supply.

Two prominent forecasters, the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, trimmed their 2020 oil demand forecasts this week. OPEC and its allies are increasing output this month.

"Pessimism about this year's oil demand growth prospects is due to the weakening outlook in the coming months," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

"To make matters worse, global oil supply is on the upswing."

Brent crude was 37 cents, or 0.8%, lower at $44.59 by 0940 GMT, heading for a flat week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate slipped 41 cents, or 1%, to $41.83.

"Although both contracts continue to consolidate at the upper end of their two-month trading ranges, they lack the momentum to stage meaningful rallies at this stage," said Jeffrey Halley of brokerage OANDA.

Prices had been bolstered this week by U.S. government data showing crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all fell last week as refiners ramped up production and demand for oil products rose.

Oil has recovered from lows touched in April, when WTI briefly turned negative. Still, a rise in the number of coronavirus infections has limited gains. India reported another record daily rise in cases on Thursday.

OPEC and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, have cut output since May by around 10% of pre-pandemic global demand to support the market. The deal calls for an increase in output this month as demand recovers.

An OPEC+ panel meets next week to review the market and is not expected to tweak the agreement.

(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Ken Ferris)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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