Arab Today, arab today oil prices rise in volatile trading
Last Updated : GMT 09:48:36
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Oil prices rise in volatile trading

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Oil prices rise in volatile trading

Federal Reserve's latest interest rate rise
London - AFP

Oil prices were higher Wednesday after swinging between losses and gains, as traders awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate policy meeting.

At about 1700 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was up 82 cents at $32.27 a barrel, after similar losses earlier in the day.

Brent North Sea crude for March jumped $1.05 to $32.85 compared with Tuesday's close.

"The price of oil whipped around from gains to losses and then back to gains which were sustained despite the release of a much bigger than expected (US crude) inventories build," said Jasper Lawler, analyst at trading group CMC Markets.

"The reaction in crude oil markets to what was a giant inventory build was almost non-existent. It's another piece of evidence that... sellers are abandoning ship especially while the dollar slides before the Fed meeting."

The US Department of Energy on Wednesday reported that commercial crude inventories in the world's biggest economy jumped by 8.4 million barrels last week.

Analysts had forecast a rise of half that amount.

The market was awaiting also the outcome of a meeting of the Federal Reserve on the timing of another rise in US interest rates.


- Market volatility -

Oil markets have been extremely volatile in recent days, soaring late last week from 12-year lows on hopes of fresh economic stimulus by the European and Japanese central banks.

However, continuing worries about a supply glut, weak demand and the slowing global economy returned to the fore.

Oil rallied again Tuesday though on talk of possible coordination between OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and major non-OPEC crude producer Russia to cut petroleum output.

That followed remarks Monday from OPEC secretary general Abdullah el-Badri calling on producers within and outside the cartel to work together to boost prices.

"While producers may be keen to engage in dialogue, the market would probably be more responsive if details emerged of a plan to limit output," said Accenture research analyst Damien Cox.

The world remains awash with oil supplies, a situation that has been fuelled by OPEC's refusal to curb crude output to squeeze out US shale producers.

The Saudi-backed strategy is aimed also at pressuring Russia -- the biggest global oil producer -- and forcing fellow OPEC member Iran to trim output.

"The Saudis are well aware that if they cut production, it will not greatly impact prices because their cut will be replaced by other producers like Iran, Iraq, Russia," said oil expert Jean-Francois Seznec at Georgetown University.

"The Saudis want producers to suffer enough to agree to a negotiated cut across the board," Seznec told AFP.

Oil prices suffered a rapid descent this month -- building on a slump stretching back to mid-2014 -- on snowballing concerns over the strong dollar and weak crude demand growth across the faltering world economy -- particularly in top energy user China.

 

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