It has been a stressful day for oil traders.
After rebounding from the six-month lows hit early Friday morning, oil prices are showing little sign of settling down, bouncing around between decent gains and slight declines.
At publication time, Brent crude was completely flat for the day at $48.38 per barrel. WTI, the US benchmark, was down 0.15 per cent at $45.45.
Oil prices have been hit this week by slower than expected declines in US inventories, as well as signs that Opec producers have continued to export at higher levels than expected despite the cartel’s plans to limit output.
The volatility is also affecting currencies: while the Norwegian krone was holding onto its gains at publication time – up 0.66 per cent against the euro – the rouble swung back to declines for the day after briefly turning positive.