Oil Fluctuates as Economic Slowdown Weighed Against US Demand
Oil fluctuated as investors weighed lingering concerns about an economic slowdown against bullish signals from the US and OPEC.
West Texas Intermediate traded near $88 a barrel after closing 1.8% higher on Wednesday following a choppy session. Futures are on track for a weekly loss as fears over a downturn continue to hang over the market. The potential for a nuclear deal and more oil from Iran have added to the bearish sentiment.
A bullish Energy Information Administration report offset some of the gloom, however. US crude stockpiles sank by 7.06 million barrels last week, exports rose to a record and gasoline demand climbed to the highest this year.
Crude is trading near the lowest level in more than six months after giving up all of the gains made after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with time spreads signaling market tightness is easing. Still, OPEC’s new Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais said spare production capacity was “becoming scarce” and that he was confident demand will increase this year.