Brent prices (briefly) trade below the $100/b mark

Brent 1st-nearby prices traded to their lowest level since late February at $97.44/b in another volatile trading session on Tuesday, mainly pressured by demand-side concerns on the back of mounting lockdown measures due to a Covid-19 resurgence in China.

The OPEC underlined “the slowdown of economic growth” with “rising inflation and the ongoing geopolitical turmoil that will impact oil demand in various regions” in its monthly report, which may have fueled the bearish sentiment as well. Prospects of a resumption of talks on the Iran nuclear deal probably played a role too after Russia’s foreign Minister Lavrov said the U.S. has provided “written guarantees” that sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine won’t affect its nuclear supply agreements with Iran.

The absence of concrete moves so far in ongoing Russia-Ukraine peace talks seems to be behind the rebound in crude oil prices this morning with the Brent 1st-nearby contract back above the $100/b mark at the time of writing. Market players could also pay some attention to the release of the weekly EIA crude stock report (at 15:30 CET) and the FED meeting. API stock data released yesterday evening showed a further 3.8 million barrels drop in US gasoline stocks for the week ending on 11 March, showing that the diesel shortage is worsening.

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