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Futures Movers: Oil prices end higher for the week but U.S. recession fears pull oil down for the month

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U.S.-based and international crude-oil futures settled higher on Friday, contributing to a gain for the week, but worries about a recession pulled prices lower for the month.

Traders also awaited a decision on production levels by major producers, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies scheduled to meet next week.

Price action

West Texas Intermediate Crude
CL00,
+2.04%

CL.1,
+2.04%

CLU22,
+2.04%

for September delivery gained $2.20, or 2.3%, to settle at $98.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices based on the front month ended 4.1% higher for the week, but down nearly 6.8% for the month, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Global benchmark September Brent crude
BRN00,
-0.24%

BRNU22,
+2.65%
,
which expired at the end of the trading session, rose $2.87, or 2.7%, to end at $110.01 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Front-month prices climbed 6.6% for the week and fell 4.2% for the month. The October contract
BRNV22,
-0.24%

settled at $103.97, up $2.14, or 2.1%.

Back on Nymex, August gasoline 
RBQ22,
-2.84%

rose 0.7% to $3.4881 per gallon, posting a 4.4% loss for the month. August heating oil
HOQ22,
-2.22%

settled at $3.6247 a gallon, down 1.7% for the session and losing 7% for the month. The August contracts expired at the end of the session.

September natural gas
NGU22,
+2.29%

gained 1.2% to settle at $8.229 per million British thermal units, with prices up nearly 52% for the month.

What analysts are saying

“Ongoing fears of slowing economic growth continue to fuel the bearish sentiment, with the global commodity” negative month-to-date, Lukman Otunuga, manager, market analysis, at FXTM, told MarketWatch.

Investors await the meeting of OPEC and its allies —popularly known as “OPEC+” — expected next week, but some rumors that OPEC+ is planning on leaving its production targets unchanged have helped to bolster crude prices.

“Oil prices are rising again amid reports that OPEC+ will leave output targets unchanged next month when it meets on Wednesday. Some sources did reportedly suggest a small increase would be discussed which would appear to align more with the optimistic view of a US administration official yesterday,” wrote Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Read: Why Goldman’s commodity guru Jeff Currie is bullish on oil despite July’s pullback

Also see What’s in store for commodities after losses in July?

Still, the week ahead could be volatile, said Otunuga.

That’s thanks to the OPEC+ meeting, “especially after President Joe Biden’s recent request for Saudi Arabia to increase oil production,” he said.

“Whatever the outcome of the meeting, it could have a strong impact on oil prices,” he said.

Read: Why natural gas may be in store for more price gains after a 50% climb in July

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