Oil is falling ahead of the OPEC + and US Federal Reserve meetings

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday, giving up previous gains, as global producers are likely to keep output unchanged at this week’s meeting and investors remain cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting that could spur market volatility. .

Brent crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $86.46 a barrel by 0435 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was $79.57 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.1 percent.

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, are unlikely to adjust their current positions. oil production policy When they meet around February 1st.

Still, an indication of rising in Crude oil exports From Russia’s Baltic ports in early February, it caused Brent and WTI to incur their first weekly loss in three last week.

“No change in OPEC+ production is expected to be announced at this week’s meeting and we expect future comments from the US Federal Reserve to be the main driver of the near-term outlook,” National Australia Bank analysts said in a research note.

Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting scheduled for January 31-February. 1, the market widely expects the US central bank to taper its rate hike to 25 basis points from the 50 basis points announced in December, which could ease fears of an economic slowdown that would curb fuel demand in the world’s largest oil consumer. the scientist.

Oil prices rose earlier amid tensions in the Middle East after a Drone attack In oil-producing Iran and China, the world’s largest importer of crude, pledged over the weekend to promote A recovery in consumption that would support fuel demand.

“It is not yet clear what is happening in Iran, but any escalation there could disrupt the flow of crude oil,” said Stefano Grasso, senior portfolio manager at 8VantEdge in Singapore.

“We have Russia on the supply side and China on the demand side. Both can swing by more than 1 million barrels per day above or below expectations,” said Grasso, a former oil trader with Italy’s Eni.

“It seems that China surprised the market in terms of the speed with which they are coming out of zero COVID while it surprised Russia in terms of the resilience of export volumes despite the sanctions.”

China will resume business this week after the Lunar New Year holiday. Citing data from the Department for Transport, Citi analysts said in a note that the number of pre-holiday travelers rose above levels in the past two years but was still below 2019.

“The overall recovery of international traffic remains gradual, with per capita teen numbers up to a low to the 2019 level, and we expect a further recovery when tour group travel resumes departing on February 6,” the Citi memo said.

(Reporting by Florence Tan and Emily Chow) Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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