WTI crude oil prices pared earlier gains to close at $73.8 per barrel on Friday, notching an 8% drop on the week as recession concerns outweighed fears of low inventories in the US.
Soaring Covid infections in China continued to darken the demand outlook for the top importer despite reopening efforts by authorities. To add, major consumer India expects its economic growth to slow in the current financial year as pent-up demand from the pandemic recovery levels out.
Elsewhere, investors continued to assess news that Saudi Aramco slashed crude prices to Asia and Europe in a potential sign of sluggish demand. On the other hand, supply worries eased oils decline toward the end of the week.
EIA data showed that US distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.427 million barrels last week despite forecasts for a milder 396,000-barrel drop. US crude and refined product exports also rose by 1.33 million barrels last week, challenging signs of lower foreign demand