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Crude oil prices drifted lower on Tuesday after concerns about likely disruptions eased after shipping traffic resumed through the Suez Canal.

Traders were also weighing possible impact of the surge in coronavirus cases and extended lockdown measures in Europe on near-term energy demand.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended down $1.01 or about 1.6% at $60.55 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were down $0.91 or 1.4% at $64.01 a barrel a little while ago.

Markets were looking ahead to the outcome of the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies. The oil cartel is expected to take call on production cuts during the meeting.

It is widely expected that the OPEC+ will stick with its tight production curbs for another month to safeguard the recovery in prices amid new coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

Meanwhile, although traffic through Suez Canal has resumed, authorities said it could take up to 3 days to clear the backlog of ships waiting to transit the route.

Investors now await the weekly crude oil reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Energy Information Administration (EIA). The API’s report is due out later today, while EIA’s inventory data will be out Wednesday morning.


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