WTI climbs to fresh two-week highs above $52
- Crude oil looks to snap five-week losing streak.
- US Energy Secretary downplays coronavirus impact on oil.
- Russian oil producers favour extending crude oil output cuts.
The barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell below the $51 handle on Thursday but recovered a large portion of its losses to close the day at $51.50 on easing concerns over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global energy demand.
Eyes on OPEC+ decision on output cuts
With markets hoping for OPEC+ to either deepen or extending oil output cuts, the WTI extended its rebound and rose above the $52 mark for the first time in February. As of writing, the WTI was up 1% on the day at $52.05.
US Energy Secretary Brouillette on Thursday argued that the coronavirus outbreak was unlikely to have a significant impact on the oil market. "If the Chinese market is off by half a million barrels, that is 0.5% of total market, we are not going to see that impact on pricing very dramatically," Brouillette told Reuters.
In the meantime, Russian oil producers favour extending oil production cuts rather than deepening them, S&P Global Platts reported on Friday, citing Russian oil giant Gazprom Neft’s CEO Alexander Dyukov.
Later in the day, Baker Hughes' weekly Oil Rig Count data will be looked upon for fresh impetus.
Technical levels to watch for