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WTI crude oil prices steadied near $82 per barrel on Tuesday, hovering close to the highest levels in seven weeks, underpinned by hopes for a demand recovery in top crude importer China and expectations of less aggressive central bank policy tightening.

Last week, both the IEA and OPEC offered a bullish outlook for 2023, saying that the reopening of the Chinese economy will boost demand. Weakening US economic data also bolstered bets for a slower pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes, with Fed officials backing a smaller 25 basis point increase at the next meeting.

On the supply side, the EU and G7 nations are set to cap prices of refined Russian products starting in February, on top of the price cap imposed on Russian crude and an EU embargo on imports of Russian oil by sea that took effect in December.

Meanwhile, trading is expected to remain subdued as most Asian markets are offline for the Lunar New Year holidays.

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