UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Oil rose above $ 61 a barrel on Friday after the Federal Reserve chief said the US central bank would act “in the right way” to support growth in the world’s largest economy, which is under pressure from global trade uncertainty.
Brent crude was up 59 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $ 61.54 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended up 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $ 56.52 a barrel.
The benchmark crude fell earlier in the session after government data showed US job growth slowed and trade tensions between the United States and China persisted despite recent diplomatic progress.
UBS said in a note that global oil demand could grow by only 900,000 bpd in 2019 and 2020.
Analysts said other forecasts for demand growth were cut to about 1 million bpd from earlier estimates of around 1.3 million bpd.
Brent posted a fifth straight week of gains, rising 1.8 percent this week, while US crude ended the week up 2.6 percent, supported by upbeat economic data from China, the world’s largest oil importer.
US crude received additional support this week after the US Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that US crude inventories fell sharply last week in the third consecutive week of decline.
US oil production remains close to record highs despite nine months of declines in the number of active rigs.
Baker Hughes Energy Services said that US energy companies stopped the operation of four oil rigs this week, bringing the total to 738, the lowest level in almost two years.
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