Crude Prices Whipsaw On Demand And Supply Fears

Crude oil prices oscillated wildly on Thursday as investors weighed the challenges impacting global oil demand with the potential stress on supplies.

The drastic Covid-19 curbs in China and its perceived impact on global supply chains and economic growth, continued to cloud the outlook for crude oil demand. The likely hit to oil demand in regions impacted by the east European geopolitical crisis also depressed prices of the black fluid.

The potential impact of sanctions on Russia’s crude oil production reignited concerns on the supply side. Markets are keenly awaiting the outcome of the meeting of OPEC+ countries scheduled next week, to discuss the increase in output in the month of June.

Brent Oil Futures for July settlement is currently trading at $104.78, down 0.16 percent from Wednesday’s close of $104.95. The day’s trade ranged between a high of $105.69 and a low of $102.91.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June settlement on Thursday traded between a high of $102.92 and a low of $100.14. It is currently trading at $101.94, having edged down 0.08 percent from Wednesday’s close of $102.02.

Natural Gas Futures for June settlement dropped around 2.3 percent to $7.171, versus the previous close of $7.339.

Data released by the U.S. Energy Information Agency on Wednesday showed crude oil inventories rising by 0.7 million barrels in the week ended April 22, as compared to an 8.02 million barrels drop in the previous week. Markets were expecting a rise of 2 million barrels in the recent period.

The American Petroleum Institute had on Tuesday reported that crude oil inventories in the U.S. rose by 4.8 million barrels in the week ended April 22 versus a fall of 4.5 million barrels in the previous week.

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