Saturday July 02, 2022

Oil slips nearly 1pc on broader demand concerns

By News Desk
April 21, 2022

LONDON: Oil slipped nearly 1 percent on Wednesday, extending losses for a second day, as broader concerns about economic growth and oil demand stagnation overshadowed tightening supplies.

The market brushed off a bullish government that showed a drop in U.S. crude and fuel inventories as concerns about economic stagflation loomed, according to John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 8 million barrels last week due to a surge in exports to a more than a two-year high, Energy Information Administration data showed.

"We're in an uncertain demand environment with continued pandemic-related lockdowns in China, and with poor global economic data coming out regularly," Kilduff said.

Brent crude futures fell 72 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $$106.53 a barrel. The front-month WTI crude futures contract, which expires on Wednesday, fell 70 cents, or 0.7%, to $101.86.

Both benchmarks fell about 5 percent on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecast by almost a full percentage point, citing the

economic impact of Russia's war in Ukraine and warning that inflation had become a "clear and present danger" for many countries.

"Weakening growth and mounting inflationary pressure can only mean one thing: the spectre of stagflation is hanging over the global economy," said P M analyst Stephen Greenock.

Continuing coronavirus lockdowns in China also have hurt demand in the world's top crude importer and are weighing on prices.

Oil prices have been supported by a tighter supply outlook after sanctions against Russia - the world's second-largest oil exporter and a key European supplier - over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special operation."

The European Commission is working to speed up availability of alternative energy supplies to try to cut the cost of banning Russian oil and persuade Germany and other reluctant EU nations to accept the measure, an EU source told Reuters.

Meanwhile, various outages added to concerns about supply. OPEC member Libya has been forced to shut in 550,000 barrels per day of output because of a wave of blockades on major oilfields and export terminals, the country's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known collectively as OPEC+, produced 1.45 million bpd below its production target in March as Russian output began to decline after sanctions imposed by the West, a report from the producer alliance showed.