Oil prices rose on Friday after an unexpected fall in the May U.S. jobless rate and OPEC’s decision to bring forward to Saturday discussions on whether to extend record production cuts.
The U.S. Labor Department reported a surprise fall in the jobless rate to 13.3% last month from 14.7% in April.
Both benchmarks were headed for a sixth week of gains, lifted by the output cuts and signs of improving fuel demand as countries ease lockdowns imposed to fight the new coronavirus outbreak.
Adding support was Tropical Storm Cristobal. It is expected to enter the central Gulf of Mexico, an area rich with offshore platforms, and could make landfall along Louisiana’s refinery row on Sunday.
Angolan crude continued to sell well and traders said interest in Nigerian crude was set to rise as the country faces pressure from fellow producers to rein in output.
Differentials for heavier oil from Angola and Congo remained strong as certain heavier oils were less abundant due to OPEC+ cuts, despite a slight waning in Chinese buying.
Northwest European gasoline stocks rose this week, signalling a continuation of poor demand ahead for light Nigerian oil.
But a trader said pressure from OPEC+ on Nigeria to cut its output could encourage demand for its oil which is already on the market in vast volumes.
Prices are as follows:
(1)Dated Brent =$41.00/bbl (3.29)
(2)Bonny Light =$41.08/bbl (2.98)
(3)QuaIboe =$41.08/bbl (2.98)
(4)Forcados =$41.33/bbl (2.98)