Oil prices stable amid flurry of weak economic data

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London, Oct. 24, 2023 – Oil prices were broadly stable on Tuesday following the previous session’s dip after a flurry of economic data from Germany, the wider euro zone and Britain sketched a bearish picture which could weigh on oil demand.

Brent crude futures were up 9 cents, or 0.1%, at $89.92 a barrel by 0847 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures inched up 4 cents, or 0.05%, to $85.53 a barrel.

Euro zone business activity took a surprise turn for the worse this month, data showed on Wednesday, suggesting the bloc may slip into recession.

German reading suggested a recession in the country is well underway, while Britain’s businesses

Both oil benchmarks fell more than 2% on Monday as diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, the world’s biggest oil-supplying region, intensified to contain the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas on Monday said it had freed two Israeli women, while sources said the U.S. had advised Israel to hold off on a ground assault in the Gaza Strip.

PVM analyst John Evans said “the disturbing truth (is) that without further conflict oil’s rally is transient, or at least the rally involving the latest Middle East nightmare.”

In the U.S., crude stockpiles were expected to have risen last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

The poll was conducted ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute industry group, due at 2030 GMT on Tuesday, and the Energy Information Administration, due at 1430 GMT on Wednesday.

“We expect WTI to move within the $80-$90 range for a while,” said Yuki Takashima, economist at Nomura Securities. (Reuters)

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