Oil market fluctuation.

Oil Prices Rebound Briefly but Weekly Losses.

Oil prices experienced a rebound on Friday, breaking a seven-session decline, with verbal support from Russia and Saudi Arabia being cited as a contributing factor. However, despite this uptick, prices were still on track for a seventh consecutive weekly loss.

In terms of price movements, West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery increased by $1, or 1.4%, reaching $70.34 a barrel. Meanwhile, February Brent crude, the global benchmark, saw a rise of $1.14, or 2.6%, reaching $75.93 a barrel. Both Brent and WTI crude had faced declines for six consecutive sessions, marking their longest losing streak since February, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Other energy commodities also experienced gains, with January gasoline rising by 2.3% to $2.046 a gallon, and January heating oil gaining 2% to $2.59 a gallon. Natural gas for January delivery rose by 0.2% to $2.59 per million British thermal units.

The downward pressure on oil prices was attributed to the aftermath of an OPEC+ meeting on November 30, where more voluntary cuts for the first quarter of 2024 were announced. However, uncertainty arose regarding the adherence of all countries to these cuts. The meeting saw OPEC+ producers committing to voluntarily reduce around 2.2 million barrels a day (mbd) of crude in the first quarter of the following year.

The recent rise in prices was linked to verbal support from Russia and Saudi Arabia, particularly emphasized in a joint statement following a meeting between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The statement commended the cooperation of OPEC+ countries in stabilizing global oil markets and highlighted the importance of continued collaboration to serve the interests of producers and consumers.

Despite this temporary rebound, both WTI and Brent were set for their seventh consecutive week of losses, amounting to around 6% each. The last time oil prices experienced such a weekly loss streak was in 2018. Concerns among investors also included a 10% drop in crude imports from China in November and ongoing developments related to a Venezuela referendum seeking sovereignty over an oil-rich territory from Guyana.

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