WTI recovers above $ 77.00, pointing to monthly highs, as sources say OPEC + will continue to raise production

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  • WTI rallied above $ 77.00 on Thursday as oil continues to trade with a positive bias.
  • OPEC + is likely to stick to existing policy at the next meeting, which means another 400,000 BPD hike is likely from February.

Oil prices have been trading within recent ranges on Thursday, with first-month WTI futures in recent trade recovering from a brief dip below $ 76.00 to return above $ 77.00 and contemplating a test of the highs. on a monthly basis following a bullish inventory report Wednesday at $ 77.30. WTI is currently trading at highs, rising nearly 50 cents for the session, a continuation of the positive bias that has lifted the US crude oil benchmark from lows of $ 72.50 at the start of the week, up by $ 72.50. $ 4.50.

The main theme driving oil prices on Thursday continues to be upbeat sentiment in the markets generally. US stocks are currently trading at record levels with the S&P 500 near 4,800. Market participants have become substantially less pessimistic over the past week about how they see the Omicron variant impacting the global economy and crude oil demand – a succession of studies, as well as real-time data, all point to the fact that that the new variant is substantially smoother than any that has existed before. Governments, meanwhile, are for the most part not returning to the strict lockdowns seen in the past, as Ómicron hasn’t shown much of a threat from overwhelming healthcare systems with sick patients (yet).

If positivism over Omicron continues to support risk appetite in the new year, that points to continued upside risks to crude oil prices. In terms of other news to be discussed by oil market participants on Thursday, China cut its first batch of crude oil imports of 2022 to oil refineries by 11%. This has been framed by local analysts who are more “aware” that this is a way to pressure small refineries to eliminate inefficiencies rather than influence overall Chinese demand for oil imports. That could be why the news has not had a lasting impact on prices.

Elsewhere, according to four sources who spoke to Reuters, OPEC + is likely to stick to existing policy at the next meeting on January 4, 2022, which means increasing production by 400,000 barrels per day (BPD) from early February. The sources cited a decline in concerns about the impact the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant will have on demand and the recent price recovery as boosting the cartel’s confidence that further increases in production follow. being appropriate. This is in line with market expectations (that there will be no change in OPEC + policy) and therefore has not affected oil prices.

Additional technical levels

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