Economy

Crude oil futures dip on weak spot demand

Crude oil futures dip on weak spot demand”

Despite the US crackdown on Chinese tanker companies dealing with Iranian oil, China continues to import oil from the Islamic Republic, but in much smaller volumes than it used to, before the USA ended all waivers for all Iranian oil customers in May past year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil is now trading at $58.16 having travelled between a low of $57.97 and $59.26, -1.71% on the day so far and well below the $65.65s post Iranian missile strikes on Iraqi targets.

Crude oil for February delivery was quoting lower by Rs 9, or 0.22 per cent, at Rs 4,135 per barrel with an open interest of 1,661 lots. -China trade deal, which marks a major step in ending a dispute that has cut global growth and dented demand for oil.

Oil prices steadied on Monday as investors shifted their focus away from easing Mideast tensions to this week's scheduled signing of an initial U.S.

Still, with traders already pricing in the signing of the deal, there is more downside risk to prices, said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

Meanwhile, expectations of thawing trade tensions between the United States and China, the world's two biggest oil consumers, have offered support for prices.

Thin U.S. refinery margins for petroleum products have negatively impacted crude prices, particularly as winter demand for heating oil has disappointed suppliers and gasoline margins have weakened, analysts told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said his country will work for oil market stability at a time of heightened U.S.

Oil prices surged to their highest in nearly four months after a US drone strike killed an Iranian commander on January 3 and Iran retaliated with missiles launched against USA bases in Iraq.

Further, strengthening Chinese crude oil demand, as suggested by the latest fuel oil imports data from China, also helps limit the falls in the commodity.

Meanwhile, ahead of the API's and EIA's weekly crude oil inventory reports, a preliminary Reuters poll showed that US crude oil inventories have fallen last week.



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