Oil prices edged higher on Friday but remained on track for a weekly loss amid concerns over rising U.S. inventories and the outlook for fuel demand threatened by economic headwinds.
Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 34 cents or 0.48 percent at $71.78 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 18 cents or 0.27 percent at $65.64 a barrel.
Brent was on track to post a third weekly decline while WTI was down for a seventh straight week, with a fall of 3 percent.
The global economy is facing added headwinds because of heightened tensions between the United States and China, as well as weakening currencies in emerging economies.
Chinese import data released last week showed a slowdown in demand and oil demand from India is also growing more slowly than expected, exposing weakness in two of the world’s largest economies.
U.S. government data this week showed a large build in crude inventories, contrary to expectations for an inventory decline.
Energy services firm Baker Hughes will publish its weekly U.S. drilling activity data later today.