Oil prices edged higher on Friday, led by strong demand in Asia, after the commodity took a hit in recent sessions. An outsized interest rate hike by the European Central Bank (ECB) combined with a narrowing supply and demand deficit sent oil prices down 3% on Thursday.
What happened earlier: Oil prices tumbled in recent sessions as US gasoline demand fell 8% year-to-date in the middle of the peak season. Reuters reported.
At the same time, US gasoline inventories far exceeded analysts’ forecasts after rising 3.5 million barrels last week, government data showed.
On Thursday, an outsized 50 basis point rate hike by the ECB, the resumption of gas flow from Russia and the resumption of production at several Libyan oil fields dragged Brent crude futures nearly 3% lower. West Texas Intermediate futures lost 3.7% on the same day.
Price Movement: Brent crude rallied nearly 1% on Friday to trade at $104.97/barrel, while WTI crude futures were also up about 1% to $97.34/barrel.
Experts take: Analysts from ANZ Research said in a note that demand is at 8.52 million barrels per day, the lowest seasonal level since 2008, with high gasoline prices weighing on consumers. Reuters reported.
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