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Crude Oil Gains on Friday, Heads for First Weekly Drop in Three Weeks

March 2, 2018 at 18:19 by Vladimir Vyun

Prices for crude oil rose today, but were still more than 4% down on the week, heading for the first weekly loss in three weeks. Analysts were mixed on how the potential trade wars, which may follow the US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, can affect prices for crude. For now, weakness of the US dollar was helping the commodity. Yet the risk-off sentiment and prospects for slower economic growth due to the trade wars can hurt oil. But other analysts voiced yet another consideration: the duties should increase prices for steel, which is used in basically every part of the industry, and increasing production costs should translate into higher prices for oil.

Another threat for crude oil was rising supply from the United States that can undermine efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to balance the market. Traders wait for the rig count data from Baker Hughes due to release later today to see how US production changed over the week.

Futures for delivery of WTI crude oil in April gained 0.41% to $61.24 per barrel as of 18:09 GMT on NYMEX today. May contract for Brent crude climbed 0.61% to $64.22 per barrel on ICE.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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