Oil prices were steady on Thursday after U.S. crude stocks
climbed less than expected, while investors awaited further clarity
on supply drivers, including an OPEC+ meeting and the looming EU
ban on Russian refined products, reuters reports.
Brent crude futures dipped 4 cents, or 0.1%, to $86.08 per
barrel by 0400 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
futures rose 18 cents, or 0.2%, to $80.33.
'The market awaits to get more clarity on the upcoming EU
embargo on Russian refined products and the subsequent reshuffle of
trade flows, while OPEC+ delegates head into their next meeting,'
Citi analysts said in a note Thursday.
'The upcoming EU embargo on Russian refined products remains a
major source of concern for the market, with widespread
dislocations expected to materialize,' the Citi analysts added.
Oil prices were also little changed after data showed a build in
U.S. crude inventories which was less than expected.
Crude inventories edged higher by 533,000 barrels to 448.5
million barrels in the week ending Jan. 20, the Energy Information
Administration (EIA) said.
That was substantially short of forecasts for a 1 million barrel
rise, though crude stocks are at their highest since June 2021, the
The rise in inventories capped price gains as it reflected
softer fuel demand, on top of broader concerns of a slowing global
Global economic growth is forecast to barely move above 2% this
year, according to a Reuters poll of economists, who said the
greater risk was a further downgrade to their view. That was at
odds with widespread optimism in markets since the beginning of the
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are likely to
endorse the group's current output levels at a Feb. 1 meeting,
OPEC+ sources said.
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