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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Oil storage containers are seen, amid the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) pandemic, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Shu Zhang and Sonali Paul

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Oil costs slipped on Friday but had been set for their third weekly rise on expectations for a recovery in gasoline demand in Europe, China and the United States as rising vaccination charges result in an easing of pandemic curbs.

futures fell 16 cents, or 0.22%, to $72.36 a barrel at 0558 GMT, after closing at its highest since May 2019 on Thursday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 9 cents, or 0.13%, to $70.20 a barrel, after climbing 0.5% on Thursday to its highest shut since October 2018.

Brent is ready for a weekly rise of 0.7% whereas WTI is ready to achieve 0.8%.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s prime oil exporter, will provide full volumes of July-loading crude to its Asian prospects, Reuters reported on Friday citing sources.

“News that Saudi Arabia has unwound all its voluntary production cuts are circulating in Asia today, and that appears to have temporarily pushed oil prices lower,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a word.

“The reaction is modest, though, and if anything, the price action is bullish. It suggests that the physical market has absorbed extra Saudi production with ease and that demand globally is robust and climbing.”

Gasoline inventories within the United States, the world’s greatest oil client, rose by 7 million barrels within the week to June 4, and distillate stockpiles rose by 4.4 million barrels, each way more than analysts had anticipated, based on knowledge from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. [EIA/S]

That sudden surge spurred profit-taking exercise as costs hit a two-and-half yr excessive, stated Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX.

Additionally, knowledge displaying street site visitors returning to pre-COVID-19 ranges in North America and most of Europe was encouraging, ANZ Research analysts stated in a word.

“Even the jet fuel market is showing signs of improvement, with flights in Europe rising 17% over the past two weeks, according to Eurocontrol,” ANZ analysts stated.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) strengthened the view of wholesome demand, sticking to its forecast that demand in 2021 would rise by 5.95 million barrels per day, up 6.6% from a yr earlier.

“Overall, the recovery in global economic growth, and hence oil demand, are expected to gain momentum in the second half,” OPEC stated in its month-to-month report on Thursday.

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