From the Field
Oil prices up after falling 5% on Trump’s comments
LONDON, January 9, 2020 – Oil prices rebounded on Thursday in Asia after slumping as much as 5% overnight as US President Donald Trump refrained from further military hostilities with Iran.
US Crude Oil WTI Futures rose 0.7% to $60.02 by 12:30 AM ET (04:30 GMT), while International Brent Oil Futures gained 0.6% to $65.83.
Oil prices were highly volatile this week, with WTI hitting an April 2019 high of $65.65 on Wednesday amid news of the Iran attack on two US-Iraqi airbases, but settled down 5% lower at $59.61 overnight after Trump offered Tehran chances for talks if it “changed its behaviour.”
While the president said the US will hit Iran with heavier sanctions. But he did not speak of a counterattack, easing concerns of further escalation of conflict between the two nations.
Last week, Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad.Iran has vowed to retaliate following the attack.
Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that US crude stockpiles rose by 1.2 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 3. The market was looking for a decline of 3.6 million barrels, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Investing.com.
Gasoline inventories soared by 9.1 million barrels, compared with expectations for a rise of 2.7 million barrels, the EIA said. Distillate stockpiles climbed by 5.3 million barrels, versus forecasts for a build of 3.9 million barrels.