Key points:

  • Oil prices are rising for the second week in a row.
  • Over the past week, US crude oil inventories have decreased by 2.5 million barrels.
  • Refinery operations are being restored in Asia.

Crude oil futures prices showed little movement on Friday but maintained their upward trend for a second straight week.

This growth is due to several factors indicating an improving market situation. First, there are signs of increasing oil demand. Secondly, there is a decline in oil and fuel reserves in the United States, the world’s largest consumer of these raw materials.

Decrease in US oil reserves

Brent crude futures for August delivery were down 0.21%, falling 18 cents to $85.53 a barrel.

This followed a 0.8% rise in the previous trading session. Futures for US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for August delivery showed similar dynamics, falling 0.17% to $81.15 per barrel. It is worth noting that July WTI futures expired on Thursday at $82.17, up 0.7%.

Despite today’s decline, both crude oil prices rose about 5% over the month, reaching their highest level in more than seven weeks.

The market is influenced by multidirectional factors. U.S. government data released Thursday showed total oil supplies, a measure of domestic oil demand, rose 1.9 million barrels per day in the week ended June 14 to 21.1 million barrels per day.

Data from the Energy Information Administration showed a 2.5-million-barrel draw in U.S. crude inventories rose over the week to 457.1 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 2.2-million-barrel cut.

Asian influence factor on the asset

In addition to the decline in US oil inventories, other factors also supported prices:

  • Signs of demand recovery in Asia. Oil refineries in the region are gradually resuming operations after scheduled maintenance.
  • Rising inflation in Japan. Core consumer prices in Japan rose 2.5% last month from a year earlier, data released Friday showed. This acceleration in inflation could push the country’s central bank to raise interest rates in the coming months.

However, data from the United States exerted pressure on prices. A decline in new jobless claims released Thursday could signal that the Federal Reserve will maintain its current level of interest rates.