Oil Prices Show Resilience Amid Geopolitical Tensions and Economic Uncertainty

Diesel Prices

The oil basket price is showing resilience despite geopolitical uncertainties. On May 20, 2024, Brent crude oil was priced at $83.7 per barrel, WTI oil at $79.8 per barrel, and the OPEC basket at $84.51 per barrel. These benchmarks—Europe’s Brent crude, the U.S.’s WTI crude, and OPEC’s basket—are crucial for traders in determining oil and gasoline prices. The price increase seen in April 2024 was due to rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. However, the extended period of high U.S. interest rates has raised concerns about demand growth, as higher borrowing costs can slow economic growth and reduce oil demand.

 

The market seemed largely unaffected by the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a helicopter crash on Sunday. The structure of the Brent contract indicated a softer market with strong supply, as the premium of the front-month Brent contract over the second-month contract narrowed to 10 cents, its weakest level since January.

 

Currently, the market is closely watching U.S. gasoline demand amid signs that consumers are cutting back due to inflation. Unless this trend reverses, the market outlook appears bleak.

 In contrast, the economic outlook in Europe is more optimistic. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde expressed confidence that eurozone inflation is under control and hinted at a likely rate cut on June 6, with future rate movements under discussion.

Author:  Jenan Hasan

Source: Ti Insights
Data Source: OPEC

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