Oil near two-month high

Oil is trading near a two-month high as Hurricane Beryl signals a potentially worse storm season and US crude oil stockpiles point to an increase in declining demand.

Brent crude oil traded above $87 a barrel and US crude oil traded below $84, with both benchmarks heading for a fourth weekly rise.

Hurricane Beryl’s risk to production in the Gulf of Mexico has diminished, but its first appearance raised concerns about an “extremely harsh” season.

Crude oil has risen slowly and steadily since the beginning of June, partly due to a positive outlook for summer demand in the northern hemisphere. Signs of weakening demand in Asia have tempered that optimism, prompting Saudi Aramco to cut crude oil prices for the region for a second month.

Investors will be watching US employment data later on Friday, which could shed light on the outlook for monetary policy. This will also affect the dollar, which has weakened this week, making commodities priced in that currency cheaper for international investors.

Geopolitical risks are also of note, including the elections in France and concerns over US President Joe Biden’s performance in his debate with Donald Trump. The situation in the Middle East also remains volatile amid signs of progress in ceasefire talks between Hamas and Israel, but worsening conflict with Iran-backed Hezbollah.

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