Oil prices set to con­tinue multi-week de­cline


Oil prices looked set to con­tinue a multi-week de­cline in Asian trade on Fri­day on con­cerns over a global over­sup­ply of crude and mixed prospects for energy de­mand.

US bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) for Septem­ber de­liv­ery was at $44.83, down from $47.12 a week ago, and on course for its eighth con­sec­u­tive week of declines.

Brent crude for Septem­ber, mean­while, was trad­ing at $49.73 com­pared to $52.21 last week, and set for a sixth straight weekly fall.

In Asian trade through the day, both con­tracts were up slightly, with WTI ris­ing 17 cents from $44.66 in New York and Brent gain­ing 21 cents from $49.52.

A glut of crude oil sup­ply is seen as the main driver for a sharp de­cline in oil prices that has seen crude fall about 50 per­cent from mid-2014 lev­els. "The re­bal­anc­ing of sup­ply and de­mand will likely prove to be far more dif­fi­cult than what was pre­vi­ously priced into the mar­ket," US in­vest­ment bank Gold­man Sachs said in a re­port, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg News. "The risks re­main sub­stan­tially skewed to the down­side."

The United States is pro­duc­ing crude at high lev­els and out­put by the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (OPEC) con­tin­ues to ex­ceed the car­tel s quota of 30 mil­lion bar­rels per day. In ad­di­tion, in­vestors were look­ing ahead to ad­di­tional sup­plies of oil com­ing into the mar­ket as part of last month s his­toric deal be­tween six ma­jor pow­ers and Iran over its nu­clear pro­gramme.

In ex­change for curb­ing its nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties, Tehran will see the lift­ing of sanc­tions, which have slashed its oil ex­ports. -

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