Brent Steadies as Traders Mull Demand Outlook

Brent Crude: Oil steadied around $99.5 per barrel on Wednesday after tumbling about 7% in the previous session, as traders continued to assess a weakening demand outlook mired by recession fears, a rallying dollar and China’s resurgent Covid outbreaks.

Investors are gearing up for another hot US inflation reading which could bolster the Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening plans, escalating fears of a potential recession.

Also weighing on oil prices, the American Petroleum Institute reported that US crude inventories rose by 4.76 million barrels last week, while gasoline and distillate stocks increased by 3 million and 3.3 million barrels, respectively.

Meanwhile, OPEC said it expects global oil demand to rise in 2023 but at a slower pace than in 2022, citing continued economic recovery and improving Covid situation in China.

US President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia this week to push for increased production from OPEC nations amid efforts to bring down prices