Crude oil prices rose on Friday following two days of declines, buoyed after data showing an increase in retail sales in the U.S. helped dampen concerns about a recession in the world’s biggest economy.
Oil rises as U.S. retail sales ease recession fears
STEPANAKERT, AUGUST 16, ARTSAKHPRESS: Brent crude was up 52 cents, or 0.9%, at $58.75 a barrel at 0352 GMT, after falling 2.1% on Thursday and 3% the previous day, Reuters reports.
U.S. crude was up 65 cents, or 1.2%, at $55.12 a barrel, having dropped 1.4% the previous session and 3.3% on Wednesday.
U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in July as consumers bought a range of goods even as they cut back on motor vehicle purchases, according to data that came a day after a key part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since June 2007 prompting a sell-off in stocks and crude oil.
An inverted Treasury yield curve is historically a reliable predictor of looming recessions.
“The rebound has a corrective look about it on thin volumes, rather than a beachhead for an impending rebound,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. “Overall, U.S. data continues to be a bright spot in a dark economic universe.”
Gains are likely to be capped after a week of data releases including a surprise drop in industrial output growth in China to a more than 17-year low, along with a fall in exports that sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter.
“The broader story around global economic growth has been a weak one, or a weakening one and expectations (are for) further weakening,” Phin Ziebell, senior economist at National Australia Bank, said by phone.
The price of Brent is still up nearly 10% this year thanks to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies such as Russia, a group known as OPEC+. In July, OPEC+ agreed to extend oil output cuts until March 2020 to prop up prices.