Oil benchmarks saw a marginal recovery on Friday (28 April) as Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company, said overall demand for energy would be higher by 2050, rather than peak well before that as some experts have opined in recent months.

Reiterating the stance of Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Aramco's chief executive officer Amin Nasser said peak demand projections were misleading.

"The global economy is forecast to double in size by 2050 so overall demand for energy will be higher," Nasser told delegates at the International Oil Summit in Paris.

The idea that oil demand is close to its peak level is "equally as misleading as now-discredited theories about peak oil supply," he added.

With tug of market direction between higher US production and Opec output cuts in full play, the Brent front-month futures contract was up 0.16% or 8 cents to $51.52 per barrel at 4:45pm BST. Concurrently, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up 0.10% or 5 cents at $48.92 per barrel, well below the psychological $50 level.

FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said: "The live threat of US shale's incessant pumping undermining the Opec production cut extension may expose oil prices to steeper losses. From a technical standpoint, WTI crude remains bearish on the daily charts, with bears potentially exploiting the technical bounce to drag prices lower.

"Previous support at $50 could transform into a solid resistance that opens a path towards $47.50. In an alternative scenario, a breakdown below $49.00 may open a similar route to $47.50."

Away from the oil markets, major precious metals were largely in positive territory. At 5:02pm BST, the Comex gold futures contract for the June delivery was up 0.23% or $2.90 at $1,268.80 an ounce, while spot gold was trading at $1,267.44 an ounce, up 0.25% or $3.14.

Elsewhere, Comex silver was down 0.43% or 6 cents at $17.26 an ounce, while spot platinum was 0.62% or $5.87 higher at $949.20 an ounce.