Oil Steadies After Weekly Advance as Geopolitical Risks Flare

image is BloomburgMedia_SDQI5FDWX2PS00_20-05-2024_06-02-05_638517600000000000.jpg

A support vessel sails alongside the crude oil tanker 'Devon' as it sails through the Persian Gulf towards Kharq Island oil terminal to transport crude oil to export markets in Bandar Abbas, Iran, on Friday, March 23, 2018. Geopolitical risk is creeping back into the crude oil market. Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

Oil steadied after a weekly gain as geopolitical risks in Russia and the Middle East came back into focus following weekend attacks.

Brent futures traded near $84 a barrel after posting the first weekly advance this month, and West Texas Intermediate was above $80. Ukraine continued its drone attacks on Russia’s refining on Sunday, while a China-bound oil tanker was hit by a Houthi missile in the Red Sea on Saturday.

In Iran, President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were killed in a helicopter crash, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said there “won’t be any disruption to the country’s affairs” as a result of the incident.


“The market has become increasingly numb to geopolitical developments, and the large amount of spare OPEC production is likely contributing to this,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy for ING Groep NV in Singapore. “We may have to wait for further clarity from OPEC+ on its output policy to break out of the range.”

Global benchmark Brent is around 9% higher this year due to OPEC+ supply cuts but prices have cooled since mid-April as geopolitical tensions eased. Market watchers are turning their attention to the upcoming meeting by the producer group on June 1, but largely expect a rollover of existing curbs.

There’s increased bearishness among hedge funds, with money managers reducing their net long positions on Brent for a second week. They are now the least bullish since January. There was also a pullback on bets for rising gasoline prices ahead of the US summer driving season.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Yongchang Chin


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