U.S. crude settles at $59.29, stabilizing after worst week in 2 years

Oil prices ended Monday’s session little changed after earlier bouncing back strongly from last week’s steep losses, as global equities steadied following their largest one-week slide in two years.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures ended Monday’s session up 9 cents, at $59.29 a barrel, after earlier rallying to $60.83/Bbl, Kallanish Energy finds.

Brent crude oil futures fell 20 cents, to $62.59/Bbl by 2:28 p.m. ET, having topped out at $64.40 earlier in the session.

A weaker dollar helped to boost oil by making dollar-priced crude cheaper for holders of other currencies.

The crude market was also supported after traders had unwound long positions last week, and looked to regain some long footing early this week, John Macaluso, analyst at Tyche Capital Advisors, told Reuters.

Early in the week, the market is expected to be driven by technical factors before fundamental inventory data from the Energy Information Administration is released later in the week, he said.

“We’re two days away from EIA numbers, where we’re probably going to see another build,” he added.

Consumption remains robust, even though rising U.S. crude production has knocked oil off its 2018 highs above $70/Bbl and threatened the efforts of OPEC and other producers to prop up prices by reining in supply by 1.8 million barrels a day (MMBPD).

“Demand growth is very strong and with declines in places like Venezuela, is helping the situation. If demand stays strong, it still looks like OPEC will be in control in 2019,” SEB chief commodities strategist Bjarne Schieldrop told Reuters.

“If global growth does slow down and oil demand starts to slow, then production growth in the U.S. becomes a problem, because OPEC’s cake starts to shrink and that will be the line in the sand,” he said.

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