IEA does not expect 'huge increase' in crude prices: executive director

WTI and Brent Crude Oil

WTI and Brent Crude Oil

West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 futures firmed 61 cents, or 1.1%, at 55.91.

But he said he did not expect a big jump in prices because there was "a lot of oil and this is mainly thanks to the shale revolution in the United States". Brent was on track to fall about 7% for the week, its largest weekly loss since December.

Oil prices fell this week on rising fears of weakening demand and a renewed supply surplus.

Last year, the IEA predicted that 2019 oil demand would grow by 1.5 million bpd.

Washington has said Iran was behind attacks on tankers near the Strait in May and June, a charge Tehran denies.

"There remains a high level of scepticism over possible Iran-U.S. talks, after all, it was only a few weeks ago the U.S. administration hawks were calling for bombs away suggesting that some traders are viewing [Middle East] risk premium cheap at current oil prices", wrote Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets, in a Thursday market report.

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Crude oil prices rose almost 2% on Friday after a U.S. Navy ship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a major chokepoint for global crude flows. Even after declining Crude inventories in USA prices continue to decline for the fourth trading session.

Meanwhile, U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a third week in a row as drillers follow through on plans to cut spending.

Two influential Federal Reserve officials sharpened the public case for acting to support the US economy on Thursday, reviving bets the central bank may deliver a larger-than-expected cut this month, although bets on a larger rate cut were pared back on Friday. The IEA lowered its 2019 demand growth forecast to 1.1 mb/d, and may cut it again if the global economy continues to cool, the agency's executive director said.

The IEA is revising its 2019 global oil demand growth forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) and may cut it again if the global economy and especially China shows further weakness, Fatih Birol said. -China trade spat, Birol told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Under normal circumstances, he said, he doesn't expect a "huge increase" in crude oil prices.

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