Supply-side tensions vying with a softer global macroeconomic outlook will cloud the direction in benchmark oil markets next week though key U.S. data releases may help set the tone, according to CNBC's weekly survey of oil market sentiment.
Respondents were almost evenly split over the course prices are likely to take in the near term with six out of 13 of those polled expecting oil prices to rise and the remaining seven saying prices will fall.
Although positive momentum has been building, traders warned that this is far from ‘conviction buying’ since the volumes are not backing the upswing in prices. Trading volumes were light on Thursday, with Brent volumes down 18 percent from its 30-day average and U.S. crude off 9 percent from its 30-day average, according to Reuters data.
"The market continues to move higher, however, volumes are not there," said Mark Waggoner, President of Excel Futures in Bend, Oregon.
Benchmark Brent crude rose for a fifth day on Thursday, settled $1.08, or 1 percent higher, at $113.22 a barrel, the highest close for front-month Brent since May 3. The session high was $113.43. U.S. crude recovered to settle a penny higher at $93.36.
Bullish on China Stimulus
The survey's bullish contingent is basing their case on stimulus hopes from China after downbeat data this week from the world's second-largest economy.Page 1 of 7 | Next Page