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Oil Prices Maintain Winning Streak Amidst Optimism

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Oil prices experienced a slight dip on Friday, but they are on track to achieve a fifth consecutive week of gains. Investors remain optimistic about the robust demand for oil and the impact of supply cuts on keeping prices buoyant. The positive sentiment in broader financial markets is fueled by growing expectations that major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, are approaching the end of their policy tightening campaigns. This has bolstered the outlook for global economic growth and energy demand.

The recent announcement of supply cuts by the OPEC+ alliance has further strengthened the trajectory of oil prices. Both oil benchmarks are poised for a weekly increase of 3.8%, marking the fifth consecutive week of gains. Additionally, Brent crude is anticipated to record a monthly gain of 12%, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is expected to rise by 13%.

As of 1510 GMT, Brent crude stood at $84.00 per barrel, having slipped 24 cents, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped 24 cents to $79.85 per barrel. Earlier in the session, both benchmarks briefly experienced a decline of as much as $1, as investors decided to take profits after WTI surpassed the $80 per barrel mark, according to analyst Phil Flynn from Price Futures Group.

Demand expectations for oil received a bullish boost following the announcement that the US second-quarter gross domestic product grew at an impressive rate of 2.4%. This surpassed forecasts and provided support for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s belief in achieving a so-called “soft landing” for the economy. This positive economic data has prompted investors to consider the likelihood of peak interest rates drawing nearer and increasing confidence that the United States can avoid recession, as noted by Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM.

The eurozone’s major economies demonstrated unexpected resilience in the second quarter, despite concerns about potential renewed weakness ahead due to ailing manufacturing and slowing services. While indicators point to potential challenges, the region’s economies have shown remarkable strength during the previous quarter.

On another front, policymakers in China have pledged to implement additional stimulus measures to reinvigorate the post-Covid recovery. China’s economy, being the world’s second-largest, experienced frail growth in the second quarter. To counter this, the Chinese government is determined to bolster economic activity and ensure a robust recovery.

The optimism surrounding oil prices is driven by positive economic indicators, expectations of global growth, and supply cuts. The continuous gains over the past weeks indicate a positive trend in the oil market, bringing relief to producers and investors alike. Nevertheless, geopolitical developments, changes in demand patterns, and unforeseen events could still influence the trajectory of oil prices in the coming weeks.

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