Crude has fallen around 17% from a peak in late April as the U.S.-China trade war intensified, casting a pall over the global growth outlook. While a series of attacks on tankers and energy facilities in the Middle East have provided some temporary support to prices, oversupply remains the key concern for the market. Meanwhile, there are signs Saudi Arabia is struggling to muster support for its bid to convince OPEC and its allies to cut production further.
The attack in Saudi Arabia is “keeping markets firm,” said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty in Sydney. The apparent easing of tensions between the U.S. and China is also helping, he said.
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery rose 43 cents to $55.30 a barrel on New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:04 a.m. in Singapore after climbing as much as 55 cents earlier. The contract, which will expire on Tuesday, advanced 0.7% last week.
Brent for October settlement increased 49 cents to $59.13 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The global benchmark is trading at a premium of $3.86 a barrel to WTI, near the smallest gap since March 2018.