Crude oil prices were steady despite an unclear demand outlook

On Friday, oil prices fluctuated as investors considered the dwindling demand prediction by a powerful organization and the unimpressive U.S. retail sales report that raised hopes for interest rate reduction in the country. At 01:31 , Brent crude futures fell 11 cents, or 0.1%, to $82.75 a barrel. At $78.04 a barrel, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures increased by one penny.

As a result, both contracts increased by more than 1%. According to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales fell 0.8% in January, marking the largest decline since February 2023. Retail sales were predicted by economists surveyed by Reuters to decline by 0.1%.

According to the IEA’s monthly report, the world’s oil demand is expected to increase by 1.22 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. On Tuesday, OPEC continued to expand at the far higher rate of 2.25 million barrels per day.

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