Brent Reacts As Demand Comes Into Focus
Brent crude oil slid below $108 as the tension in Ukraine eased and investors began to worry once again about waning global demand.
The commodity traded at $107.97 at 7:19 GMT on Thursday morning as investors waited for Friday's US jobs data for a clearer picture of the number one oil consuming nation's economy.
Over the past two days, Brent has seen a heavy sell off as the situation in Ukraine calms. On Monday, prices spiked after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his right to use military force in order to protect Russian citizens living in Ukraine. Many worried that Putin's mobilization of troops would lead to armed conflict in the region; however the risk of violence has largely been relieved.
Investors abandoned positions and Brent prices dropped nearly $5 per barrel throughout the week.
Adding to the pressure on oil prices was data from the US which showed the nation's crude stocks increased more than expected. CNBC reported that the Energy Information Administration released a report on Wednesday which showed crude oil inventories grew by 1.4 million barrels last week, higher than the 1.3 million barrels which were expected.
In a separate report, data showed that US private employers added fewer workers than expected in February. The figures compounded concern that the US economy was sputtering; but the US Federal Reserve tried to calm worries by saying that US' recent severely cold weather was responsible for the poor economic indicators.
Moving forward investors will be waiting for the closely watched non-farm payrolls report due out on Friday for a better idea of the US' economic status.
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