Energy shares slipped even as oil prices edged higher above $70 a barrel.
The International Energy Agency said it expects the world's appetite for crude oil will return to its pre-pandemic highs by the end of next year but low coronavirus vaccination rates in emerging economies are pushing the pandemic's end date further away.
In its market report, the energy watchdog said that while it expects global oil demand in 2022's final quarter to hit 100.6 million barrels for the first time since late 2019, it was also slashing its forecast for resurgent demand in the second half of this year.
The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. rose by six in the latest week to 365, according to oil-field services company Baker Hughes.
In corporate news, BP is working on a plan to spin off its operations in Iraq into a stand-alone company, according to people familiar with the matter, as the oil giant shuffles its assets and investment plans in its pivot toward lower-carbon energy.
Saudi Aramco's return to the global debt markets this week demonstrated the oil giant's need to raise cash despite high energy prices, as it issued its inaugural dollar-denominated Islamic bond to meet a dividend pledge and complete a costly acquisition. Saudi Arabian Oil, as the world's largest listed oil company is officially called, raised $6 billion in Islamic bonds, or sukuk, on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the issue. It last sold $8 billion in conventional bonds in November when oil prices were floundering due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires