Crude Oil Futures Settle Slightly Higher

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Crude oil prices recovered after an early setback on Friday, and despite staying sluggish for much of the day’s session, managed to close slightly higher.

Persisting worries about outlook for energy demand due to continued surge in coronavirus cases, and data showing higher crude inventories weighed on the commodity and limited its upside.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up $0.03 or about 0.08% at $37.33 a barrel.

WTI crude oil futures lost over 6% in the week.

Brent Crude futures advanced $0.16 or about 0.4% to $40.22 a barrel.

U.S. crude inventories increased by about 2 million barrels last week, as against expectations for a drop of 1.3 million barrels.

According to reports, traders are looking to book tankers to store crude oil and diesel as energy demand appears to be trending down to due to rise in new coronavirus cases.

Reports say U.S. gasoline demand fell nearly 2% in the last week of August compared to a week earlier.

The rapidly surging coronavirus cases in India has resulted in an about 20% drop in oil demand from the country, compared to a year ago.

According to Baker Hughes, weekly active oil-rig count in the U.S. has dropped by 1 to 180 this week. Total weekly drilling-ring count has come down by 2 to 254, the report said.

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