Oil Takes Breather After Three-Day Rally as Outlook Clouded

  • In Business
  • 2023-02-08 23:46:43Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Oil steadied in Asia - after rallying around 7% over the previous three sessions - as investors assessed the latest commentary from Federal Reserve officials and mixed Energy Information Administration data.

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West Texas Intermediate futures traded near $78 a barrel after closing almost 2% higher on Wednesday. A raft of Federal Reserve speakers reinforced the idea that interest rates will need to keep climbing to combat inflation, which raised some concerns about a possible drag on demand.

The EIA report showed refinery utilization climbed to the highest level since December last week, while crude stockpiles increased slightly more than expected. Inventories at the storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, swelled to the largest since July 2021.

The market has endured a period of choppy trading since the start of the year as investors look for signs of a sustained rebound in demand from China, which some predict will drive prices above $100 a barrel. Key timespreads are signaling a tight market following recent disruptions to Norwegian and Azerbaijani flows.

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