SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices were steady on Friday, but set for their first weekly gain in six weeks on the assumption that major producers will implement deeper output cuts to offset slowing demand in China caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were 1 cent higher at $56.35 a barrel by 0439 GMT, after gaining 1% the previous session. Brent is 3.4% higher for the week, the first increase since the week of Jan. 10.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures (CLc1) were 4 cents higher at $51.46 a barrel. The contract rose 0.5% on Thursday and is now 2.2% higher for the week.
“Oil prices appear to have stabilized this week on optimism that OPEC+ will once again do whatever it takes to tighten output and on hope that the coronavirus peak is nearing,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York