Oil Prices Rise In Cautious Trade

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Oil prices rose on Friday after falling about 2 percent the previous day on concerns over excess supply in the market and the outlook for energy demand.

Benchmark Brent crude for September delivery rose 35 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $43.66 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were up 38 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $41.45 per barrel.

A slew of European data showed a return to growth, raising hopes for an economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The upside remained capped by rising coronavirus cases and deteriorating U.S.-China relations, with Beijing ordering America to close its consulate in Chengdu in response to the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston earlier this week.

The euro area private sector grew at the fastest pace in just over two years in July due to the relaxation of the coronavirus containment measures, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The composite output index rose to a 25-month high of 54.8 from 48.5 in June.

The U.K. manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indexes both rose in July, according to initial ‘flash’ readings from IHS Markit.

A measure of U.K. consumer confidence remained unchanged at lower level in July, final data from market research group GfK showed, with the corresponding index coming in at -27 in July, unchanged from flash estimate but above from June’s score of -30.

U.K. retail sales volume advanced 13.9 percent month on month in June, faster than the 12.3 percent rise in May and bigger than economists’ forecast of 8 percent.

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