Crude oil prices witnessed a decline during today’s trading, Thursday, May 18, 2023, after recording strong gains yesterday, amid pressure from the dollar’s recovery and fears of an economic recession that may affect market demand.
Data from the US Energy Information Administration, released yesterday evening, revealed an increase in crude oil inventories in the United States during the past week by about 5 million barrels, while gasoline and distillate stocks declined by about 1.4 million barrels and 100 thousand barrels, respectively.
The calmness of oil futures trading reinforces the markets’ close anticipation of the outcome of the talks to raise the US debt ceiling in Congress, which stimulated the rise in crude prices yesterday amid optimism regarding the US demand for fuel.
Crude oil prices today
At the time of publication of the news, the price of benchmark Brent crude contracts for next July delivery fell by 0.35%, to record the price of a barrel in the futures contract during trading at $76.69.
In the same downward trend, the prices of US West Texas crude oil contracts for July delivery this year decreased by 0.36%, to reach $72.63 per barrel.
During yesterday’s trading, crude oil prices rebounded strongly, if Brent crude contracts grew by 2.7% and Nymex contracts increased by 2.8%, supported by the easing of fears of the US debt crisis.
Despite the strong gains achieved by oil futures contracts yesterday, crude prices are still lower than they were at the beginning of this year 2023, amid the slow recovery of the Chinese economy and the tightening of monetary policy in the United States.