Oil prices plateau ahead of OPEC+ meet and news on EU sanctions

Traders are holding their breath Thursday in anticipation of further information on the EU’s sanctions against Russia and resulting effects hereof.
Photo: Nick Oxford
Photo: Nick Oxford

Oil prices hold steady early Thursday CET as the market awaits news on EU sanctions against Russian hydrocarbons as well as conclusions made by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and OPEC+ allies at the group’s coming summit early next month.

A barrel of European reference oil Brent trades for USD 86.00 Thursday morning against USD 86.14 Wednesday afternoon. US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate sells concurrently for USD 80.24 against USD 80.47. 

In the early morning hours of Thursday, oil prices hovered between USD 86.40 and USD 85.99 for a barrel of Brent and USD 80.20-80.60 for WTI.

Traders are keeping cool on Thursday while awaiting of further details about EU’s sanctions against Russia and resulting effects.

”The market awaits to get more clarity on the upcoming EU embargo on Russian refined products and the subsequent reshuffle of trade flows, while OPEC+ delegates head into their next meeting,” the news agency cites Citi analysts noting today.

EU sanctions remain a point major concern for the commodity trade, also raising risk of further market disruption, Reuters reports.

OPEC+ plans to convene on Feb. 1 and is expected to stick to current policy on output quotas. Last year, the cartel cut extraction volumes as a part of efforts to buoy crude prices.

This year’s global economy is projected to grow by more than 2%, shows a Reuters poll of economists, who, however, note eying high probability of global economic growth forecasts being downgraded. 

Weakened growth would, all else equal, likely weigh on the oil trade. 

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