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MTrading Team • 2024-02-20

Oil stabilizes as worries in demand offset the Middle East conflict

Oil stabilizes as worries in demand offset the Middle East conflict

The worldwide benchmark for oil saw little movement in Brent crude on Monday. The commodity was trading at almost $83 per barrel as ongoing hostilities in the Middle East outweighed festering demand concerns.

By 12:43 GMT, Brent crude futures dropped 14 cents to $83.33 per barrel. In muted trading, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil contract for March, which expires on Tuesday, was up 7 cents at $79.26, while the WTI contract for April fell 13 cents to $78.33.

Last week, front-month Brent and WTI futures increased by roughly 1.5% and 3%, respectively, as the likelihood of a wider Middle East conflict increased.

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Limiting those increases were the International Energy Agency's lowering demand projections and a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. producer prices in January, which raised fears about inflation.

Following a notable increase in U.S. producer price index data, investors reacted to demand-side concerns, and WTI and Brent dropped on Monday morning.

On Friday, fear of interest rate decreases was heightened when U.S. Federal Reserve officials indicated that "patience" would be required.

As China returns after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, markets are also watching for signs of the direction of demand from that country. Meanwhile, Presidents' Day in the US is expected to keep trading quiet.

May the trading luck be with you!