WTI sticks to daily gains above $71 as US rig count remains unchanged at 863

  • Baker Hughes rig count stays at 863.
  • The WTI looks to end the week nearly $3 lower as supply concerns ease.

The barrel of West Texas Intermediate retraced a small portion of its weekly losses on Friday and was last seen trading at $71.15, where it was up 1.15% on the day.

The weekly report released by  General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services showed that the number of oil rigs in the United States stayed at 863 in the week ending July 13, and helped crude oil prices stick to their daily gains. Moreover, news of workers of Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs going for a strike and protestors blocking access to Iraq's Umm Qasr commodities port provided an early boost. 

"Persistently declining oil supplies from Venezuela and simmering strike actions in Norway and Iraq are prompting bullish sentiment," Abhishek Kumar, a senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London, told Reuters.

Nonetheless, with Libya reopening eastern ports and the U.S. voicing its willingness to grant waivers to some countries who want to continue to purchase oil from Iran after November, the barrel of WTI's three-week-long rally came to an end this week.

Technical levels to consider

The initial support for the barrel of WTI aligns at $70 (psychological level/Jul. 11 low) ahead of $69.25 (Jul. 12 low) and $67.70 (Jun. 26 low). On the upside, resistances are located at $72.85 (May 22 high), $74 (Jun. 28 high) and $75.30 (Jul. 3 - multi-year high).

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