Oil Eases But Still Set for Another Weekly Gain

Oil prices edged down on Friday after rising more than 2 percent in the previous session, buoyed by lower U.S. crude inventories and geopolitical tension in the Middle East.  U.S. crude futures are in their longest winning streak since records began in 1983, helped by a drop in crude and product stockpiles last week, reflecting better demand in the world’s largest oil consumer. [EIA/S]

West Texas Intermediate CLc1 for July delivery was at $60.55 a barrel, down 17 cents on the day but poised to post gains for the 10th week.  July Brent crude LCOc1 fell 23 cents to $66.31 a barrel by 0246 GMT after closing up 2.3 percent on Thursday. Front-month Brent prices are set to post a small drop this week.

“Sentiment was buoyed by falling inventory and strong demand in the crude oil markets,” ANZ analysts said in a note, adding that Wednesday’s data from the Energy Information Administration showed a strong decline in U.S. oil products, suggesting end-user demand has been strong.  “With U.S. travel expected to reach a 10-year high over Memorial Day, according to AAA (American Automobile Association), product inventory is expected to decline even further over coming weeks,” the analysts said.