Oil prices slip for third consecutive week despite OPEC+ reassurances.

Oil prices experienced a slight dip on Friday, marking their third consecutive weekly decline as investors deliberated between OPEC+ assurances and the latest US jobs data, which tempered expectations of imminent Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.

Brent crude futures concluded 25 cents lower at $79.62 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) edged down by 2 cents to $75.53.

The release of May’s US jobs report, revealing an unexpected acceleration in job growth, suggested that the Federal Reserve might delay interest rate cuts until September, contributing to a surge in the dollar and casting uncertainty over oil demand.

Amidst these economic indicators, the European Central Bank proceeded with its first interest rate cut since 2019, underscoring concerns about inflation uncertainty and its potential impact on economic activity.

Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, remarked, “The jobs report indicated higher rates for longer. That tends to dampen enthusiasm in the oil market.”

Despite these economic headwinds, oil prices found some support from OPEC+ members, particularly Saudi Arabia and Russia, signaling their readiness to halt or reverse oil output increases.

However, concerns over demand persisted, leading to a third consecutive weekly decline in crude prices. Brent crude fell by 2.5% and WTI by 1.9%.

Earlier in the week, oil prices slipped following Sunday’s OPEC+ meeting, which hinted at potential supply increases, adding bearish pressure on prices.

Additionally, China’s crude oil imports declined despite growth in exports, raising concerns about demand in the world’s largest crude oil buyer.

Furthermore, in Russia, the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery faced significant disruptions after a fire sparked by a drone attack on Thursday, underscoring geopolitical tensions and potential supply disruptions.

In light of these factors, money managers reduced their net long US crude futures and options positions in the week ending June 4, as reported by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).