Oil prices are rising today, but are on track for a significant weekly decline. Brent North Sea crude oil showed an increase of about 1.5 percent compared to Thursday and reached above USD 81 per barrel around 16:30 CET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained about 1.7 percent and was in close proximity to $77 a barrel. Since the beginning of the week, both Brent and WTI prices have fallen by more than four percent.
Oil prices have been falling recently after a sharp rise caused by fears about the consequences of the armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Unfavorable prospects for the development of demand are behind the drop in prices. “Concerns about demand have replaced fears of supply cuts linked to the conflict in the Middle East,” said analysts from Commerzbank.
Investors’ attention is now focused on the production policies of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies led by Russia, the group known as OPEC+. The group will decide on its mining policy on November 26. Investors will be particularly interested in Saudi Arabia’s decision on whether it will continue to voluntarily cut oil output by a million barrels per day next year.
This voluntary cut, which complements a wider OPEC+ agreement to cut supply to the market, is due to expire at the end of this year. However, according to analyst Helima Croft from RBC Capital Markets, the probability of its extension is increasing “given renewed concerns about Chinese demand and the broader macroeconomic outlook“, wrote the Reuters agency.
WTI oil price development (1-hour chart – H1):
Brent oil price development (1-hour chart – H1):
Source: Reuters, ČTK, MT4, Commerzbank
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