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WTI gains momentum above $86.00 amid ongoing Middle East geopolitical tensions, weaker US Dollar - Faicy

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WTI gains momentum above $86.00 amid ongoing Middle East geopolitical tensions, weaker US Dollar

  • WTI prices gain momentum near $86.00 on Tuesday. 
  • The ongoing Middle East tensions, a key region for oil production, might boost WTI prices. 
  • The expectation that the Fed might delay interest rate cuts this year drags black gold lower. 

Western Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US crude oil benchmark, is trading around $86.25 on Tuesday. The weaker US Dollar (USD) and the ongoing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East conflict raise concern about the crude supply disruption, boosting WTI prices near the six-month top.

On the weekend, Israel withdrew its forces from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, resulting in one of the lowest military levels since the conflict with Hamas started in October. WTI prices trimmed gains following this headline. However, the uncertainty surrounding Iran’s reaction after the attack on its consulate in Syria last week might cap the downside of the black gold. A top Iranian military advisor warned Israel over the weekend that its embassies could be targeted, fueling concern that the Middle East conflict could broaden. Additionally, the strikes on Russian refineries have also raised the geopolitical risk premium.

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) prediction for 2024 oil demand has risen as traders shift from bearishness to optimism, bolstered by recent improved manufacturing surveys in China, the United States, and India.

On the other hand, the US labor market report on Friday came in better than the market estimation, indicating the US economy ended the first quarter on solid ground. This report could prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to delay interest rate cuts this year, which might drag WTI prices lower. It’s worth noting that high interest rates have caused oil prices to fall in the past, as it can slow economic growth and reduce oil demand. 

Oil traders will monitor the API Weekly Crude Oil Stock on Tuesday. Later this week, the US and Chinese March Consumer Price Index (CPI) reports will be due on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. These events could offer some hints about the economic health of the world’s top two oil consumers.


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