Oil is headed for its sixth consecutive monthly loss as weakening demand in the U.S. and Asia hampers analysts’ outlooks on the commodity. This is the longest run of losses for oil in over eight years.
West Texas Intermediate rose above $75 per barrel on Friday, however, the U.S. benchmark remains on course for a second straight weekly loss. This comes as the prospect of further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve threatens to fuel a recession, which could in turn curb energy consumption.
In Asia, refiners’ profit margins continue to be hampered as demand continues to fluctuate. China appears to be an exception, however, with the nation’s economic recovery ongoing. Top processor Sinopec estimates that the nation’s recovery will boost demand by over 10% this year.
Crude prices fluctuated significantly in April following the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to implement an output cut. China’s output has also been lower than expected as its economic recovery remains gradual.