Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, recovering from recent losses, after upbeat exports data from China and the rally in stock markets helped ease concerns about economic slowdown and allay fears about demand growth.
Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.37, or 0.5%, at $71.34 a barrel. On Thursday, crude oil futures ended down $2.20, or 3%, at $70.97 a barrel, after having shed 2.4% a session earlier.
However, for the week, crude oil futures posted a loss of about 4%, after recording gains for four consecutive weeks.
Crude oil prices had drifted lower earlier this week amid concerns about excess supply in the market. Data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday showed crude supplies in U.S. to have climbed by 6 million barrels in the week ended October 5. That was much larger than what analysts had expected. However, the rise was smaller than what the American Petroleum Institute had reported in the data released on Wednesday.
Gasoline stockpiles were up by 1 million barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles declined by 2.7 million barrels, the EIA report revealed.
According to a report released by the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday evening, U.S. crude inventories climbed by 9.7 million barrels to 410.7 million last week. Analysts had expected crude inventories to increase by 2.6 million barrels.
Also, traders were betting on a drop in global crude demand as U.S.-China trade war tensions escalated and the International Monetary Fund lowered global growth forecast.
Now, with data showing Chinese exports to have registered a double digit growth in the month of September, despite escalating trade tensions with the U.S., concerns about demand growth have eased a bit.