- Crude oil prices retreat from earlier tops in the $53.70 region.
- EIA reported a nearly 8M barrel build during last week.
- US Baker Hughes will publish its oil rig count later in the day.
Prices of the barrel of the West Texas Intermediate are posting small gains at the end of the week, retreating to the $53.00 neighbourhood after climbing as high as the $53.80 area during early trade.
WTI looks to data, Venezuela
Prices of the WTI are prolonging the weekly sideline theme so far on Friday, clinging to its daily gains around the $53.00 mark per barrel as traders continue to fade the earlier uptick.
WTI met some fresh buying interest earlier in the day on rumours that the US could impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports in response to the rising social turmoil in the Caribbean country. However, traders somewhat weighed down this scenario against the backdrop of the solid performance in US oil output, which should be more than enough to offset occasional supply disruptions.
Moving forward, Baker Hughes will publish its weekly report on US drilling activity. Earlier in the week, the EIA reported US crude oil supplies rose almost 8M barrels during the week ended on January 18.
What to look for around WTI
The ongoing OPEC+ agreement to curb oil output remains the almost exclusive source of support for prices. Also sustaining higher prices, supply concerns in Libya and Venezuela are set to persist for the time being, while current US sanctions limiting Iranian oil exports also collaborate with the better sentiment. However, this bullish view is eclipsed by the above mentioned possibility of a slowdown in the global economy and fears of a supply glut on the back of increasing US oil production.
WTI significant levels
At the moment the barrel of WTI is losing 0.02% at $52.92 and a break below $52.54 (10-day SMA) would aim for $51.42 (55-day SMA) and then $50.34 (low Jan.14). On the flip side, the next up barrier lines up at $54.22 (2019 high Jan.21) would aim for $54.48 (monthly high Dec.4) and finally $58.00 (high Nov.18 2018).