Oil prices changed little on Thursday, when OPEC lowered its global demand forecast for 2020 after some Europen countries saying they would relax coronavirus restrictions and indicate a potential recovery in consumption.
Brent futures LCOc1 gained 13 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $27.82 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 ended the day unchanged at $19.87, marking a second straight day of closing at its lowest since February 2002.
Oil prices, which are under the influence of the keep going coronavirus pandemic on top of the economic data of China, that has been weakening for decades performed mixed on Friday.
The Chinese economy has shrunk in the first quarter at least for the first time since 1992 because the coronavirus outbreak has paralyzed production and spending, and there is a huge drop in demand for global raw and refined products.
The U.S. has launched a three-step process to end economic deadlocks and to stop the spread of coronavirus that is killing more than 32,000 Americans and about 140,000 people worldwide. Thus, the oil markets have found basic support, however, downside risk remains the dominant factor. Demand forecasts are expected to make further corrections, especially in the second quarter.
While the brent futures LCOc1 rose by 55 cents, or % 2 at 0406 GMT %, to settle at $28.37 pbd, the US raw CLc1 fell 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $ 19.74. The more active June contract rose $ 1 or 4% to $ 26.53.
Both oil criterias go to a second consecutive weeks loss, with US oil running at its lowest levels in 18 years.
Traders say the demand for fuel may recover earlier than expected, as some countries in Europe alleviate the measures.