Oil prices remain stable amid OPEC+ uncertainty, Middle East tensions


(MENAFN) Oil prices remained relatively stable on Tuesday, with minimal changes, as uncertainties persisted around the voluntary production cuts implemented by the OPEC+ alliance. Tensions in the Middle East and lackluster economic data from the United States further contributed to the cautious atmosphere in the oil market. By 0402 GMT, Brent crude futures edged down one cent to USD78.02 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures inched up five cents to USD73.09 per barrel.

Kelvin Wong, Chief Market Analyst for the Asia-Pacific region at Oanda, noted that statements from the Saudi Energy Minister indicating the potential extension of OPEC+ production cuts beyond the first quarter of 2024 provided some support to the market. However, concerns and uncertainties continue to shape the narrative in the oil market.

Tina Ting, an analyst at CMC Markets, highlighted that oil prices experienced a decline in the previous trading session, driven by trader skepticism regarding the substantial impact of OPEC+ supply cuts. Additionally, the strengthening of the US dollar posed challenges for commodity prices in general, as a robust dollar typically makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, potentially dampening demand.

The OPEC+ group, comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, including Russia, reached an agreement last Thursday for voluntary production cuts totaling around 2.2 million barrels per day for the first quarter of 2024. This decision, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia's commitment to extend its existing voluntary reduction, underscores ongoing efforts to manage global oil supply in the face of evolving geopolitical and economic dynamics. The delicate balance between supply and demand, coupled with geopolitical uncertainties, continues to shape the trajectory of oil prices in the current market landscape.

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