Oil pared gains on Friday with a decline in U.S. stock markets after an ABC News report added to concerns about President Donald Trump’s exposure to a probe into Russian meddling in last year’s campaign, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Wall Street’s main indexes all fell by more than 1 percent after the ABC report that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to tell investigators that prior to taking office, Trump directed him to make contact with Russians. [.N]
Flynn, a central figure in a federal investigation into Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI.
“Oil prices have pared earlier gains in tandem with losses seen in the equity market partly because news regarding Michael Flynn,” said Abhishek Kumar, Senior Energy Analyst at Interfax Energy’s Global Gas Analytics in London.
Brent futures were trading at $63.58 a barrel by 1:14 p.m. EST (1814 GMT). That put the new front month February contract up just one cent from where January expired on Thursday. The lower priced February future, was up about 1.5 percent from where it closed in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 75 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $58.15 per barrel. WTI’s January contract does not expire till Dec. 19.
Both benchmarks were on track to decline for the week, down about 1 percent.
Before the Flynn news, crude prices had been approaching their highest levels since the summer of 2015 after OPEC and other major producers agreed to continue reining in output until the end of 2018 to try to reduce the global oil glut and boost prices.