Brent Holds Above $59, up more than 2 Percent on Week

BEIJING – Benchmark Brent crude held above $59 on Friday, up more than 2 percent this week as news of deeper industry spending cuts and a sinking U.S. dollar revived buying.

Brent crude for April delivery was trading down 17 cents at $59.11 at 0232 GMT.

March Brent futures, which expired on Thursday, rose more than 4 percent to $57.05, following a 3-percent loss in the previous day’s session.

U.S. crude futures were down 13 cents at $51.08, following similar swings.

Oil volatility has reached its highest level since the financial crisis, jolting traders who had been adjusting to a period of predictable declines following a near 60-percent crude crash between June and January.

The discount for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) versus Brent crude also expanded to around $7.17 a barrel intraday, the widest in five months, as U.S. oil tanks swelled.

French energy major Total on Thursday became the latest to announce investment and job cuts following a near-halving of oil prices since June.

The chief executive of Shell warned that supply might not be able to keep up with growing demand as companies slash budgets.


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