February 18, 2024
Oil Prices Rise Amidst Falling US Crude Stockpiles and Geopolitical Tensions
Finance Business

Oil Prices Rise Amidst Falling US Crude Stockpiles and Geopolitical Tensions

Oil Prices Rise Amidst Falling US Crude Stockpiles and Geopolitical Tensions

Oil Prices Rise Amidst Falling US Crude Stockpiles and Geopolitical Tensions

Oil prices experienced an uptick on January 25, driven by a significant decline in US crude stockpiles and fresh geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Brent crude futures rose 1.6% to $81.33 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1.8% to $76.46 a barrel.

Factors Driving the Surge in Crude Oil Prices

  1. US Crude Stockpile Decline: The Energy Information Administration reported a 9.2 million barrel drop in US crude stockpiles, attributed to reduced imports amid winter weather disruptions.
  2. Geopolitical Tensions in the Middle East: Houthi forces’ attacks on ships off Yemen’s coast heightened concerns about disruptions in the Red Sea shipping route. Analysts anticipate prolonged supply chain disruptions in the region.
  3. China’s Economic Recovery: China’s central bank’s decision to cut bank reserves injected $140 billion into the banking system, supporting hopes for China’s economic recovery and boosting oil prices.
  4. US Economic Growth: Despite the US economy’s faster-than-expected growth in Q4, the specter of sustained high-interest rates looms large, influencing oil prices.
  5. European Central Bank (ECB) Policy: The ECB’s decision to retain its benchmark rate and delay policy easing hinted at potential rate cuts in the coming months, impacting oil prices.

Price Projection and Market Dynamics

Analysts project ongoing volatility in crude oil prices, anticipating support at $74.50–73.90 and resistance at $75.85-76.40 in the global market. In INR, support is expected in the range of ₹6,185-6,100, with resistance at ₹6,300-6,410. The surge is attributed to various factors, including US output decline, Chinese stimulus, Middle East tensions, and dollar index fluctuations.

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