Oil prices were mixed yesterday, with Brent extending the previous session’s rise, but gains were kept in check amid growing fears over the impact of a global economic slowdown on demand.
Brent added 16 cents, or 0,2 percent, to $68,13 by 0706 GMT, reversing earlier losses, and was not far off its year-to-date high of $68,69 reached last week.
US crude futures were down 3 cents at $59,91 after spending much of the session in positive territory. The US benchmark rose 1,9 percent in the previous session.
“We seem to have reached a state of equilibrium after the recent headline-driven choppy trading and we need to see some new impetus for price direction,” said Jeff Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore.
Oil rose on Tuesday as Venezuela’s main oil export port of Jose and its four crude upgraders were unable to resume operations following a massive power blackout on Monday, the second in a month.
Prices have risen more than 25 percent this year, supported by supply curbs by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers, along with US sanctions on exports from Venezuela and Iran.
But worries about demand have limited oil’s rally as manufacturing data from Asia, Europe and the United States pointed to an economic slowdown.
Hedge funds and other money managers have increased bets that demand for oil will be sustained, even as the market rallied last week. — Reuters