Brent Remains Below $103 Despite Tightening Supplies
Brent crude oil was steady on Wednesday morning after briefly rising overnight, but waning demand in both China and Europe coupled with declining U.S. crude imports kept a lid on gains.
The commodity traded at $102.13 at 5:40 GMT as investors kept an eye on developing supply issues.
CNBC reported that Saudi Arabian crude exports were down to their lowest level in nearly three years. Additionally, the British Buzzard oilfield is performing planned maintenance, which is also cutting down on supply.
Despite those supply issues, Brent remained under pressure as investors saw the market as oversupplied. Recent economic data from Europe has most expecting to see further easing from the European Central Bank, while China’s recovery remains sluggish. The lack of demand in an oversupplied market has helped mitigate geopolitical risks in Libya, Iraq and Eastern Europe.
In Iraq, Islamist militants have extended their reach across the northern part of the country and into Syria, where they’ve captured a third military air base. The new development prompted the U.S. to make plans for aerial surveillance flights over Syria to gather intelligence. Most expect that the White House is considering extending its targeted air strikes into Syria in order to prevent ISIS from becoming any more powerful.
Hours of negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ended as well as could be expected late on Tuesday night, as Poroshenko pledged to develop a ceasefire plan to end the violence in eastern Ukraine.
If Poroshenko is able to come to an agreement with the rebel groups occupying several eastern towns, it could end the ongoing sanctions war between Russia and the West and help spur on global economic growth.
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