Oil fluctuates with U.S. outages weighed against demand concern

Image: Anadarko

Oil swung between gains and losses with continued supply disruption in the U.S. weighed against an uncertain demand outlook in some regions.

West Texas Intermediate for October delivery lost 0.2 per cent to US$69.19/bbl at 10:26 a.m. London time. Brent for November settlement was little changed at $72.64.

Just over 20 per cent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil output is back online after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, marking a slower comeback than in the wake of Katrina. Yet crude faces headwinds from wider markets, which drifted lower on Thursday as investors fretted over COVID’s ongoing impact on demand and risks to the global economic recovery.

The market is grappling with mixed demand signals, with consumption rallying in some countries — even surpassing pre-pandemic levels in the U.S. — but remaining precarious in some regions.

“The Brent price seems to have established a center of gravity over the late spring and summer at over $70 a barrel,” said Jon Rigby, an analyst at UBS Group AG. “It remains to be seen whether this remains the case as we head into the northern hemisphere winter, with the higher case rates associated with the Delta COVID variant.”

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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