Oil prices were higher on Friday and headed for another strong weekly gain, as supply worries returned to the fore.
June natural-gas futures
retreated 7% to $8.164 per million British thermal units. The contract jumped 4.4% to close at $8.783 per million British thermal units on Thursday, its highest finish since Aug. 1, 2008.
Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude were poised for weekly gains of nearly 5%, marking the third straight weekly gain for each, according to FactSet.
“In addition, the EU ban on Russian oil imports and a surprise U.S. announcement about starting to refill its SPR [strategic petroleum reserves] already this autumn also underpinning the price,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
In Brent, the next level of resistance is the April high around $115 with support at $110, he said.
Oil futures remained higher after Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. oil rigs rose by 5 this week to 557, while gas rigs were up 2 to 146.
Analysts said an upswing for oil on Thursday was curbed by the strong selloff for Wall Street stocks and dollar strength. The latter can serve as a headwind for dollar-priced commodities, making them more expensive compared than those based in other currencies.