Oil prices dropped at the first trading session of the week.
Oil traders are virtually going short, with the global market’s economic recovery outlook being called into question as COVID-19 infections rise.
What you should know: At press time, Brent crude futures dropped by about 1%, to $54.65 a barrel, after losing 2.3% on Friday. West Texas Intermediate futures lost about 1%, at $51.93 a barrel, having declined 2.3% also on Friday.
Increasing COVID-19 caseloads throughout the world continued weighing on oil prices, as oil traders doubted how long energy demand would hold up.
Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi, in a note to Nairametrics, gave key insights on macros weighing on oil prices
“Oil prices struggled from the mid-week after swelling production inventories then fused with the return of COVID in China, providing a not-so-rosy near-term demand signal. And adding for downside drift to the flow the slow roll-out of vaccines globally is walking back the timeline for jet fuel demand to take off.
The US dollar is strengthening due to the confluence of continental dilemmas. The global “risk-off” tone is also attracting US dollar safe-haven demand. A stronger US dollar seldom if ever makes for good bedfellows with higher oil prices.”
What to expect: Still, it remains crucial for OPEC+ to monitor the demand variables around lockdowns and stay responsive to changing conditions. Underlying demand will not approach normal levels until 2022 at the earliest, and vigilance from OPEC+ will continue to be important in supporting oil prices.