NEW YORK (AFP) – Oil prices bounced back somewhat Friday from Thursday s steep fall after upbeat US and eurozone economic data, but prospects remained remote of an OPEC output cut to counter ample supplies.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rose $1.61 to settle at $75.82 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January advanced $1.92 in the contract s first day of trade to $79.41 in London.
After a particularly rough week for oil prices, with futures contracts sinking to four-year lows in New York and London, investors saw a chance to buy the dip, said John Kilduff of Again Capital.
Several encouraging economic indicators on both sides of the Atlantic, suggesting potential for more oil demand, lent support to the buying.
In the United States, the world s largest consumer of crude oil, retail sales rose 0.3 percent in October, recovering from a downturn the previous month.
The new retail numbers provide “added reassurance that the economy is in better shape than many had hoped a month ago,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
The struggling 18-nation eurozone economy grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, better than the 0.1 percent consensus estimate, and stronger than the second quarter s 0.1 percent rise.
But with oil prices down by as much as a third since June, the market was focused on the upcoming meeting of the 12-nation OPEC cartel, which produces about a third of global oil supplies.
“OPEC is getting into panic mode,” Kilduff said. Members of the 12-nation cartel “are trying to cobble together a deal and they are certainly more incentivized to do so today than a week ago given the lower prices.”
Even so, dealers are largely expecting the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to decide against reducing output when it meets on November 27 in Vienna.
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia recently has cut prices on crude exports to the US market, a move seen by some observers as an effort to maintain market share as it faces competition from rising US shale oil production.
OPEC members Venezuela and Ecuador have called publicly for a reduction in OPEC output quotas.