Oil prices rose on Friday but are on track for a weekly fall because of rising concerns about the global resurgence of coronavirus infections and its effects on fuel demand, while the likely return of exports from Libya will add to supply.
Brent crude LCOc1 was up 17 cents at $42.11 a barrel by 0346 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 gained 16 cents to $40.47, as reported by Reuters.
Read alsoUkraine, Slovakia share common vision of risks posed by Nord Stream 2 – ZelenskyBrent is heading for a drop of around 2.5% this week with U.S. crude on track for a decline of about 1.5%. Both benchmarks are also heading for a monthly decline, which would be the first for Brent in six months.
In the United States, which has the highest death toll from the coronavirus pandemic and is the world's biggest oil consumer, unemployment claims unexpectedly rose last week suggesting an economic recovery is flailing and pushing down fuel demand.
U.S. fuel demand remains in the doldrums as the pandemic constrains travel. The four-week average of gasoline demand last week was 9% below a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday.