The Magazine for Asian Investors
Crude oil futures closed lower on Thursday (April 7) as markets continued to react with relief to news that no shortages are expected in the foreseeable future. The IEA and the U.S. will use their strategic reserves to increase supply, for the time being, putting downward pressure on oil prices. This was compounded by reports of a jump in U.S. crude inventories, contrary to expectations.
- WTI crude futures were down 20 cents, or 0.6%, at $96.03 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were down 49 cents, or 0.5%, at $100.58 a barrel.
WTI fell for the third day in a row after the IEA decided to release 60 million barrels of oil from the oil reserves of member countries. This is the second oil release after the IEA had already decided on March 1 to release 60 million barrels of oil.
The IEA has 31 member countries, the largest of which are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
Markets were also pressured by an EIA report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels last week. In contrast to analysts’ expectations, which had expected a decline of 1.85 million barrels.
The tense situation between Russia and Ukraine remains an issue that may affect the market. This includes the impact of international sanctions against Russia.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian oil production may fall by 4-5% this month because of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies. Meanwhile, Russia’s Central Bank and Finance Ministry are in talks on oil and gas exports to China, with China paying in yuan.
Investors should also keep an eye on the situation in China. The city closures announced by China to contain the spread of COVID-19 will further impact economic activity and oil demand.
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Friday, April 8, 2022