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Oil Prices Drop amid Unclear Outlook for Global Demand


Wed 21 Feb 2024 | 01:20 AM
ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXANDRA CITRIN-SAFADI/WSJ
ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXANDRA CITRIN-SAFADI/WSJ
Taarek Refaat

Oil prices fell on Tuesday amid an unclear outlook for global demand, leading to a decline in the value of crude futures despite the risk premium resulting from the conflict in Gaza.

According to Reuters, Brent crude futures fell $1.44, or 1.7%, to $82.12 per barrel by 11:27 a.m.

The six-month spread for Brent crude today was at its highest level since October, an indication of market tightening.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI)  for April delivery fell 70 cents, or 0.9%, to $78.49 a barrel, after earlier falling by one dollar.

The March WTI contract rose 36 cents, or 0.45%, to $79.55 a barrel before expiring during the session.

Latest Oil Prices

WTI CRUDE                $78.27   -1.16%

BRENT CRUDE           $82.51   -1.26%

MURBAN CRUDE       $82.36  -0.75%

NATURAL GAS          $1.676   +4.16%

LOUISIANA LIGHT    $81.27   +1.85%

BONNY LIGHT          $86.39   +0.54%

OPEC BASKET           $82.89  +0.31%

MARS US                   $78.56   -2.29%

GASOLINE                 $2.295  -1.78%

There was no settlement for West Texas Intermediate crude on Monday due to a public holiday in the United States.

Crude oil markets were “marginally lower” in “quiet trading over the US Presidents’ Day holiday, and with demand concerns outweighing ongoing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East,” Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG, said in a note.

Many countries are intensifying their efforts to ensure a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, in light of the threat of an Israeli attack on Rafah. The United Nations warned that the attack “could lead to a massacre.”