Oil Up, but Investors Keep Close Eye on Supply, Middle East Tension

imageCommodities55 minutes ago (Apr 12, 2021 09:57PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Oil was up Tuesday morning in Asia, with investors continuing to assess the impact of an uneven economic recovery from COVID-19 on fuel demand recovery alongside a potential increase in supply.

Brent oil futures were up 0.24% to $63.34 by 9:50 PM ET (1:50 AM GMT) and WTI futures edged up 0.17% to $59.80.

India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, continues to see record numbers of COVID-19 cases and other countries remain under restrictive measures as the number of cases rises.

Despite successful COVID-19 vaccine rollouts leading to higher fuel consumption in some areas, the pandemic “is a long way from over,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Monday.

Worries about global crude oil output, and a potential supply glut, also capped the black liquid’s gains. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) is widely expected to increase its output, even amid the uncertain economic recovery, when it eases current output curbs from May onwards.

Investors are also bracing for the U.S. to also potentially increase supply. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that oil production from the Permian Basin, the most prolific U.S. shale patch, will expand to about 4.47 million barrels a day, a level not seen since the start of COVID-19, in May.

Investors now await U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day. EIA supply data is set to follow a day later.

In the Middle East, Yemen’s Houthis on Monday launched an aerial attack on Saudi Arabia that targeted oil refineries of Saudi oil giant Aramco (SE:2222), Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarei said in a statement.

“However, these attacks have rarely caused any disruption to supply, and prices subsequently gave back most of the gains over the course of the session,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

Oil Up, but Investors Keep Close Eye on Supply, Middle East Tension

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