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Oil prices under pressure on China Covid concerns

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Written by:
Myrsini Giannouli

17 November 2022
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Oil prices traded lower on Wednesday, with WTI price falling below the $85.7 per barrel support, touching $84.3 per barrel. If the WTI price declines, it may encounter further support near $82.2 per barrel, while resistance can be found at $90.3 per barrel and further up at $97.8 per barrel. 

Oil flows on the Druzhba pipeline from Russia to Hungary were resumed on Wednesday, after having been temporarily suspended, as they had sustained damage in Moscow’s latest assault on Ukraine.

Surging Covid cases in China are pushing oil prices down. The country continues to grapple with rising Covid cases, with heavy restrictions impacting economic output. Beijing and other major Chinese cities reported record coronavirus cases this week, dashing expectations of ending lockdowns. On Friday, some restrictions were lifted and oil prices spiked upwards on a positive oil demand outlook. Health authorities in China, however, seem committed to keeping the strict lockdowns and quarantines in place for the time being. The uncertainty over oil demand in China has influenced oil prices considerably as China is the world’s largest energy importer and zero-Covid restrictions severely limit oil demand. 

Oil prices gain support from the dollar’s weakness, as US PPI inflation data came out softer than expected on Tuesday. Cooling US inflation has reduced Fed rate hike odds, diminishing global recession concerns. October’s US inflation print came below expectations, bringing the dollar down. Market expectations of future rate hikes were considerably trimmed after last week’s inflation report and were further diminished after Tuesday’s inflation print. Aggressive rate hikes stifle economic activity, undercutting oil demand and putting pressure on oil prices. 

Concerns of political uncertainty in the US caused market turmoil last week, putting pressure on oil prices. Concerns that political instability may tip the country into recession, reducing oil demand, have sent oil prices plummeting. This week, markets will await the US election outcome. Votes are still being tallied and the battle for securing the Senate seems to be close.

WTI 1hr chart


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Written by:
Myrsini Giannouli

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