Oil fell to its lowest in almost three weeks, with technical indicators driving the market’s direction amid a lack of clarity on crude demand.
While China’s reopening spurred a rally in crude in recent weeks, the market has struggled to hold those levels as prices test their 50-day and 100-day moving averages. That’s prompting commodity trading advisors to sell, dealers said. At the same time, oil traders bullish on Chinese demand are still waiting for the rebound in consumption to ripple from industrial metals to crude.
Oil has been bumpy in recent months — with prices supported by demand from China, the White House’s goal of refilling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the European Union’s impending ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil products. Still, the potential for contractions in western economies has kept prices from advancing too far.
Price momentum across energy markets declined through last week, and the short-term trading signal on Brent traded on the Intercontinental Exchange switched to a sell, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts including Tracey Allen said in a note.
- WTI for March delivery fell $1.78 to settle at $77.90 a barrel in New York. That’s the biggest drop since Jan. 4 and the lowest price since Jan. 11.
- Brent for March settlement fell $1.76 to settle at $84.90 a barrel.
(with assistance from Devika Krishna Kumar)