On Friday, benchmark oil prices decreased after hitting six-week highs a day earlier amid weak economic data from China and continued concerns about the pandemic in the world's leading countries, Interfax reports.
The cost of June futures for Brent oil at the London ICE Futures exchange by 8:07 a.m. Kyiv time on Friday is $68.17 per barrel, which is $0.39 (0.57%) below the price at the close of the previous session. As a result of trading on Thursday, these contracts rose by $1.29 (1.9%) up to $68.56 per barrel.
The price of June futures for WTI in electronic trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) by this time amounted to $64.53 per barrel, which is $0.48 (0.74%) below the level at the close of the previous session. On Thursday, the value of these contracts increased by $1.15 (1.8%) to $65.01 per barrel.
Previously, both contracts reached their maximum closing levels since March 15.
The rise in prices on Thursday was facilitated by signs of increased demand for oil in China, Europe and the United States. Some support to the market was also provided by the statistics from the US, which indicated a confident economic recovery. U.S. GDP increased 6.4% in the first quarter of 2021 at an annualized rate, preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed Thursday.
The renewed rise in coronavirus infections in key markets, especially India, is also forcing investors to be wary, according to DailyFX strategist Margaret Young. India, which is the third-largest oil importer, had a record 379,308 new cases of COVID-19 on April 28, according to the American Johns Hopkins University.
Market pressure is also coming from concerns about worsening epidemiological conditions in other countries, including Japan and Brazil, analysts at ANZ say, noting possible weaker demand in both countries amid the outbreak and new restrictions.