Oil claws back from 5-month lows, demand fears persist

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Oil claws back from 5-month lows, demand fears persist
Oil claws back from 5-month lows, demand fears persist

Africa-Press – Eritrea. Oil prices rebounded on Thursday after Brent dived to five-month lows driven by sluggish demand in the US and China, the world’s largest oil consumers, while signals of further OPEC+ cuts limited further price falls.

International benchmark crude Brent traded at $74.66 per barrel at 10.16 a.m. local time (0716 GMT), a 0.48% increase from the closing price of $74.30 a barrel in the previous trading session on Wednesday.

The American benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), traded at the same time at $69.69 per barrel, up 0.44% from Wednesday’s close of $69.38 per barrel.

Having fallen to its lowest level since July 3, when it traded at $74.56 a barrel, Brent lost 4% on Wednesday following figures indicating a fall in oil consumption in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer.

According to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, US gasoline stocks rose approximately by 5.4 million barrels to 223.6 million barrels.

The administration in the same report also disclosed a decline in the country’s crude oil inventories, but the quantity was not enough to revive prices.

In other data from China, a 9.2% year-on-year decline was seen in the country’s crude oil imports in November, recording its first annual decline since April.

Prices have already come under oversupply pressure after OPEC+ production cuts failed to boost investor confidence that the production curbs would lead to market balance during the first quarter of next year.

However, these concerns were somewhat eased and price falls were limited when Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday that OPEC+ countries are ready to take additional measures “to eliminate profiteering and volatility” if the current measures are not enough.

“As a reminder, our agreements expire at the end of 2024. And the decisions taken in April about an additional reduction of 1.66 million barrels per day will remain in force by the end of 2024. Whereas during the upcoming winter period, there will be additional cuts for balancing the market,” Novak told reporters.

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