Oil easing as investors watch US oil issuance, demand concerns in China – Community News
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Oil easing as investors watch US oil issuance, demand concerns in China

Towers and chimneys silhouetted at an oil refinery in Melbourne, June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/File Photo

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  • China urges people to stay during Lunar New Year
  • US sells 18 million bbl of crude oil from strategic reserves
  • Crude oil still rising for the fourth week in a row

SINGAPORE, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second session on Friday amid growing concerns that Washington will soon act to lower prices, as move controls in China to contain a COVID-19 outbreak keep, weighed on the demand for fuel.

Brent oil futures fell 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $84.17 a barrel at 0150 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 45 cents, or 0.6%, to $81.67 a barrel.

China, the No. 2 oil consumer worldwide, has suspended some international flights and stepped up efforts to contain a virus outbreak in Tianjin, while the highly transmissible Omicron variant has spread to the northeastern city of Dalian. read more

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Many cities, including Beijing, have also urged people to stay during the Lunar New Year holiday, which could reduce transportation fuel demand during a peak travel season.

“The market is a bit off-putting,” said Avtar Sandu, a commodities manager at Phillip Futures in Singapore, adding that reports of the COVID-19 situation in China and the sale of strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) in the United States are a point of concern. were care.

The US Department of Energy said Thursday it had sold 18 million barrels of strategic crude oil reserves to six companies, including Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and a unit of refinery Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N). read more

Nevertheless, Brent and WTI prices are set to rise for the fourth straight week, supported by supply concerns in Libya and Kazakhstan and a drop in US crude inventories to the lows of 2018. Some investors are also optimistic that the impact will be impacted. of Omicron on the global economy and oil demand will be short-lived. read more

Several banks have forecast the oil price to reach $100 a barrel later this year as demand is expected to outpace supply. read more

“The near-term outlook still carries a lot of risk, but the optimism is high that it will be short-lived,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a note.

However, with oil prices above $80 a barrel, there is increasing political pressure on the White House to lobby OPEC+ to meet their production quotas, he said.

“Biden may resort to another SPR release and while that won’t solve any problems, it could send WTI crude to the $80 level,” Moya said.

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Reporting by Florence Tan; adaptation by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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