Oil up but still poised for 5% weekly loss
Oil prices stabilized on Friday, moving away from three-month lows, but were still poised for a weekly loss of over 5% as new lockdowns in countries battling the rising cases of COVID-19 Delta variant darkened fuel demand outlook.
Broader investor risk aversion also weighed on oil, with the dollar climbing to a nine-month high amid indications that the US Central Bank is considering dialing back stimulus this year.
Brent crude futures went up 0.4%, or 24 cents, to $66.69 a barrel at 0645 GMT, after taking a 2.6% loss on Thursday to its lowest close since May.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for September, set to expire on Friday, climbed up 0.6%, or 38 cents, to $64.07 a barrel, after crashing 2.7% on Thursday. The more active October contract rose 26 cents at $63.76 per barrel.
China has imposed new restrictions with its “zero tolerance” coronavirus policy, affecting both shipping and global supply chains. The country has also imposed tit-for-tat flight capacity restrictions with the US.
Meanwhile, Delta variant outbreaks have also led to strict lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand.