Oil Heads for Second Straight Weekly Gain

Oil Heads for Second  Straight Weekly Gain
Oil Heads for Second  Straight Weekly Gain

Oil prices rose on Friday and were on track for their second straight weekly gain, as resilient demand resulted in a larger-than-expected fall in US oil stocks, offsetting fears of higher US interest rates.
Brent crude futures were up 45 cents, or 0.6%, at $76.97 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 44 cents, also 0.6%, to $72.24 a barrel.
Both benchmarks were set to gain about 2% for the second straight week, Reuters reported.
"The crude demand outlook is starting to look better as we enter peak summer travel in the US, and as the Saudis were able to raise prices to Europe and Asia," said Edward Moya, an analyst at OANDA.
US crude stocks fell more than expected on strong refining demand, while gasoline inventories posted a large draw after an increase in driving last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.
That comes as top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia announced a fresh round of output cuts for August. The total cuts now stand at more than 5 million barrels per day, equating to 5% of global oil output.
However, oil price gains were capped by strengthening expectations that the US central bank is likely to raise interest rates at its July 25-26 meeting after holding rates steady at 5-5.25% in June.

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