WTI Crude Oil Steady at $78 Amid Thin Trading and Lease Anticipation

13 June 2024

    West Texas Intermediate remains steady with thin trading, possibly due to anticipation of upcoming producer price figures from the US. The WTI crude oil hovers around $78.00 per barrel in European trading on Thursday.

    Oil traders have absorbed the hawkish stance maintained by the US Federal Reserve, with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) keeping its benchmark lending rate within the range of 5.25%–5.50% for the seventh consecutive time during its June meeting on Wednesday, as widely anticipated.

    Higher interest rates could hinder economic growth, which in turn negatively impacts oil demand. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference following the Fed’s decision that the restrictive stance on monetary policy is having the expected effect on inflation. “So far this year, we have not gained greater confidence on inflation to warrant a rate cut,” Powell added.

    On the supply side, higher US crude oil stockpiles put pressure on the price of the liquid gold. Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showed that US crude inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels in the week ending June 7. This contrasts with market expectations of a 1.55 million barrel decline, following the previous week’s increase of 1.233 million barrels. Additionally, the EIA, in its monthly report, reduced its forecast for oil demand growth in 2024 by 100,000 bpd, bringing the new estimate to 960,000 bpd.

    Middle East Tensions and Supply Concerns

    In the Middle East, attention is focused on ceasefire talks in Gaza. Any success could alleviate concerns about potential supply disruptions from the oil-producing region. In the latest incident affecting maritime security, Iran-allied Houthi militants claimed responsibility for small watercraft and missile attacks on Wednesday. These attacks left a Greek-owned coal carrier in need of rescue near Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah, according to Reuters.

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    What caused WTI crude oil to stabilize at $78/barrel in European markets?

    WTI crude oil stabilized at $78/barrel in European markets due to a combination of factors including OPEC+ production cuts, easing geopolitical tensions, and steady demand recovery post-pandemic. Additionally, market expectations of balanced supply and demand contributed to the price stabilization.

    Can the anticipation of US producer price figures impact WTI crude oil prices?

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