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  • Profit taking ahead of the weekend weighs on crude oil.
  • Trump calls upon OPEC to bring oil prices down.
  • Coming up: Baker Hughes rig count from the United States.

Crude oil came under strong selling pressure in the second half of the day on Friday with the barrel of West Texas Intermediate erasing all of the gains it recorded this week and touching its lowest level since early April at $62.28. As of writing, the WTI was trading a few cents above that recent low, losing 4.3% on the day.

In the first half of the week, the WTI rallied to its highest level since late October of last year as the United States’ decision to end waivers for Iran oil sanctions caused investors to price tightening supply.  However, with Saudi Arabia voicing its intention to ramp up its production to balance the market if needed didn’t allow crude oil to continue to push higher. Moreover, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report showed a much larger buildup in crude oil stocks than expected and further weighed on crude oil prices.  

Meanwhile, investors may be looking to book their profits ahead of the weekend to increase the technical pressure on the commodity. Commenting on oil’s price action,  “Downward pressure was mainly the result of profit taking on recent rally pushing prices through technical stops which accelerated the move,” Hans van Cleef, Senior Energy Economist at Dutch bank ABN Amro, told Reuters.

Finally, U.S. President Trump earlier today said that he called OPEC and told it to “bring oil prices down,” possibly contributing to today’s drop. Later in the session, Baker Hughes’ oil rig count data will be looked upon for fresh impetus but we are unlikely to see a meaningful rebound.

Technical levels