Oil futures were mixed Friday, with U.S. prices up a fourth straight session and global benchmark crude headed lower, as any potential demand worries tied to stock-market volatility were offset by supply concerns linked to Middle East tensions.
Both crude benchmarks were on track for a weekly gain of more than 2%.
The price moves come ahead of a meeting Sunday of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of members and nonmembers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The committee monitors compliance with the OPEC-led production-cut agreement.
Although this weekend’s gathering is a smaller-scale meeting, it could be a litmus test for oil producers’ appetite to extend the current production cut agreement into the second half of the year, according to ING strategists, in a note.
OPEC and allied producers will meet in Vienna on June 25-26, just ahead of the expiration of the OPEC-led production cut deal.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery CLM9, +0.41% rose 30 cents, or 0.5%, to $63.17 a barrel. The contract settled Thursday at $62.87, the highest finish for a front-month contract since May 1, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
However, global benchmark July Brent LCON9, -0.56% was down 43 cents, or 0.6%, to $72.19 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Its finish at $72.62 Thursday marked the highest to date in May.
“For all the focus on U.S. shale growth, it is worth noting that OPEC+ production has fallen sharply, with Venezuela and Iran alone contributing to about 840,000 barrels per day of the 2.3 million barrels per day group supply drop between November 2018 and April 2019. In contrast, global oil demand growth has decelerated sharply in recent months,” said analysts at Bank of America, in a weekly research note.
“Where will oil prices go