Consequently, some traders are believed to be prepared to sell the energy commodity.
Also tugging down crude oil futures on the final day of the month is expectations about weak economic data released by China, the world's second largest consumer of the energy commodity. Also hosting the globe's second largest economy, China is enduring some rough economic times.
"Both crudes are stuck in a range and we have been at the high end of it for the past couple of days and there's not much more to be had on the upside," head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen with Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen told the news source on Friday.
At 9:39 a.m. on Friday, WTI crude oil futures fell 0.69 percent, a 68-cent loss to $97.55 per barrel. At 9:38 a.m., Brent crude oil futures dropped 0.82 percent, an 89-cent slip to $107.06 per barrel.
Future considerations set to impact prices
One chief strategist noted that a number of technical resistance points are in the offing yet swiftly coming closer.
"Traders are locking in gains," chief strategist Michael McCarthy with CMC Markets in Sydney told the news source on Friday. "Not only because they've seen significant rises in their positions but also we're now approaching several technical resistance points."
Slightly more than half of the 31 analysts polled by the news source projected the energy commodity will continue its downward trend in the week leading up to February 7. Twenty-six percent forecast the energy commodity to rise and 19 percent said the change will only be moderate.
Slight weekly gains within reach
MarketWatch reports crude oil's losses were linked with global equities' downward drive. But, despite the losses, the energy commodity was driving toward weekly gains of roughly 0.6 percent.
Demand has been strong because of inclement weather in the U.S., strategist Fawad Razaqzada with Forex.com told MarketWatch. Many regions of the U.S. endured frigid, single-digit temperatures, squalls and snowstorms.
Crude oil futures also followed the downward drive European and U.S. stocks, which were enduring pressure.
The energy commodity performed more strongly earlier this week, which one energy analyst said was interesting to consider.
The selling included "traders apparently testing the idea that Wednesday's rally was more a function of the February contract expiration than about colder-than-normal temperatures," energy analyst Timothy Evans with Citi Futures told MarketWatch on Friday. "A somewhat less daunting morning temperature outlook may have also prompted some of the decline."
Strengthening U.S. economy benefits oil
The Wall Street Journal reports the price of crude oil futures is likely to benefit from the improving economic situation in the U.S., which is the world's top consumer.
Also host of the world's largest economy, the U.S. released strong economic data earlier this week. The second half of last year demonstrated some of the strongest growth in a six-month period in about 10 years. Gross domestic product during the fourth quarter increased 3.2 percent, which one analyst said bodes well for economic prospects.
"When we saw the GDP number today, it's a sign that people think the economy's heading in the right direction," analyst Carl Larry with Oil Outlooks & Opinions told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Inventories advanced by 6.4 million barrels in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration.
The industry also is dealing with the consequences of a newly operational pipeline that is forecast to move 520,000 barrels of oil per day.
"The biggest thing impacting the oil market here over the last couple weeks is this Keystone pipeline," energy broker Peter Donovan with Liquidity Energy in New York told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
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