Oil prices rise more than $1 a week after a viral outbreak of turmoil.

Oil prices rise more than $1 a week after a viral outbreak of turmoil.


On Friday, oil prices soared again, gaining more ground as producers like Kuwait said they'd continue to curb production and the United States accepted another package to cope with the economic damage caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Brent oil, after climbing 5 percent on Thursday, was up $1.07, or 5 percent, to $22.40 by 0432 GMT. U.S. crude gained $1.12, or nearly 7 percent, a barrel of $17.62, having risen by 20 percent in the previous session.

Yet barring a sharp leap later in the session, prices head for their eighth weekly loss in the last nine weeks, capping one of the most turbulent weeks in the oil trading history. This week, Brent is heading for a 20 per cent loss with the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has set a decline of over 3%.

WTI dropped into negative territory on Monday to minus $37.63 a barrel while Brent thudded down to a low of two decades.

“There is little in the way of fundamental developments to support the move higher, although given the amount of weakness recently, we were due a relief rally,” ING said in a note.

Under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) and related producers like Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, production reductions of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) are expected to kick in from May.

Yet Kuwait's state-owned news agency KUNA said Thursday the OPEC producer will start cutting supply to foreign markets without waiting for the agreement to officially begin.

Azerbaijan's oil project Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli would also need to cut production drastically from May onwards in order to meet the country's commitments under the agreement, four sources told Reuters.

U.S. legislators, meanwhile, passed a nearly $500 billion pandemic relief bill, offering assistance to small businesses and hospitals. The package is increasing US crisis spending to almost $3 trillion.

Although some countries like Germany are beginning to loosen restrictions, this year, according to a Reuters survey, the global economy may experience a record contraction.

“The disruption relating to the coronavirus is set to cause the steepest fall in global GDP since the Second World War,” In a note, Capital Economics expected a 5.5 percent contraction this year in global economies, dwarfing the 0.5 percent downturn seen during the 2008 global financial crisis.

“Once the virus is under control, (economic) output should rebound, but it will take years to return to its pre-virus path,” it said.


Image: An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21, 2014.