Oil Little Changed Near Two-month High

Oil prices held steady near a two-month high on Friday ahead of an expected surge in utility demand during the upcoming U.S. summer season.

Benchmark Brent crude edged up 0.1 percent to $114.24 a barrel and was on track for its biggest weekly jump in 1-1/2 months, while U.S. crude futures were down 0.1 percent at $113.97.

Oil consolidated recent gains after data showed China's industrial profits declined in April as a result of COVID outbreaks and lockdowns.

Industrial profits decreased 8.5 percent from the previous year in April, marking the biggest fall since early 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

During January to April, industrial profits expanded 3.5 percent, slower than the 8.5 percent increase posted in the first quarter.

The downside in oil prices, if any, was capped by expected demand growth at the start of the summer driving season in the United States and the prospect of an EU ban on Russian oil.

European Council President Charles Michel said earlier this week that he is confident that an EU-wide agreement on the next major package of sanctions against Russia can be reached before the council's next meeting on May 30.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Market Analysis

Follow RTT