Crude Futures Climb in Rebound Rally

U.S. crude oil futures prices closed out the week with a 2% gain in Friday's trading after tumbling 7% over the previous four sessions.

Market participants attributed the advance to trading dynamics rather than supply and demand concerns or news about the global economy.

"The market is overdone on the downside and has to retrace somewhat," said BRG Brokerage's Jeffrey Grossman.

"We fell a long way over the past week or two," said John Kilduff, a partner at hedge fund Again Capital. "So we're due for a rebound."

West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude pierced the $80 a barrel level early in the session, before settling $1.56 higher at $79.76 a barrel for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. futures still were down 5.4% for the week and off nearly 25% since May 1.

Brent crude, the European benchmark, settled $1.75, or 2% higher, at $90.98 a barrel for August delivery on the IntercontinentalExchange. Thursday, Brent futures fell below $90 a barrel for the first time since December 2010.

Kurt Kinker of Mirus Futures said Friday's rise in U.S. futures was a bounce back from earlier losses. "I don't think it has a lot of meaning going forward," Mr. Kinker said of Friday's trading activity. "It's following the overall broader economy," such as the euro-zone debt crisis and the global economic growth.

Analysts offer mixed views on the outlook for oil next week.

Eying bearish trends, Kilduff said he sees support for oil around $78-$80 a barrel. But he warns if oil sinks below that, "then we have a long way to fall."

But BNP Paribas Friday released a note that pointed to support for oil prices due to the expected increased demand from the European Union due to the Iran embargo, slated to begin July 1. The forecast also expects more monetary stimulus from the world's central banks. Any increased economic growth spurred by monetary easing would require more raw materials, like crude oil.

Bets that oil prices will rise "are becoming increasingly appealing," BNP said. "While oil may see another temporary leg-down, since 2011 it has not traded below $79 a barrel for any significant length of time."


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