Crude oil prices barely recover after Wednesday’s loss

Crude oil prices were moving in positive territory ahead of the start of U.S. trading after major losses in the previous session, though concerns remain on the horizon.

The price for Brent crude oil finished lower by 2.35 percent on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude oil inventories swelled by 6.8 million barrels last week. Analysts surveyed by commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts had expected a draw of 1.7 million barrels.

Broader markets had been under pressure on concerns that economic woes in Turkey would spread across the European and Middle East economies. Those concerns were compounded when the United States and Turkey, two NATO allies, started directing reciprocal trade blows against each other.

Trade tensions globally have triggered fears of an economic slowdown. Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Danish investment firm Saxo Bank, said in response to emailed questions that the Turkish issue may be viewed as a barometer for wider economic issues.

“Turkey has really only been the canary which highlighted the general problem among many emerging economies who are now being challenged by a high level of dollar debt, a stronger dollar and rising cost of funding,” he said.

Recovery in the price of crude oil in early trading, he said, has been shallow and may be masking some of the concerns in emerging markets.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was up 0.34 percent as of 9:24 a.m. EDT to $71 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.08 percent to $65.06 per barrel.

In economic news, a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed concerns about the impact of U.S. trade policies. More than half, 51 percent, of the manufacturers surveyed said they perceived a negative effect this year.

Total industrial production increased 0.1 percent in July, after increasing about 0.5 percent on average over the last five months. On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported the four-week moving average for first-time claims for unemployment, a less-volatile metric than weekly figures, increased 1,000 from the previous week.