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Oil price fluctuations continue, Brent remains around $70

price fluctuations

Oil price fluctuations have continued, while Brent crude remained around $70 a barrel, for the first time in two weeks.

The prices received support from the return of geopolitical risks in the Middle East, while the downward pressures related to demand risks intensify due to the delta strain of the Coronavirus.

OPEC+ group also still adheres to last July agreement – to boost supply by about 400,000 barrels per day, an increase shared by 23 member producers in the group.

Energy ministers of OPEC+ will review the latest market data at the monthly meeting scheduled for the first of next September.

The meeting will discuss making adjustments to the group’s production policy, depending on the developments in the situation of demand, supply and oil stocks.

Oil specialists and analysts say that oil traders are concerned about the impact of a new set of restrictions to combat the delta variant of the highly contagious coronavirus.

They are also watching the downward trend in demand, as this was driven by the record US oil inventories also recorded a sudden increase last week.

Specialists pointed out that the state of weakness in the market exacerbated with the release of the US jobs report.

The report showed that there were only 300,000 added in July, which is much lower than market expectations of about 683,000 jobs.

Specialists pointed out that the epidemiological situation led to a decline in investor confidence in the market, and the price differences between the Brent and American benchmarks shrank sharply.

On the other hand, with regard to supply, OPEC+ producers continue to respond to pressures to ease oil supply restrictions that they imposed with the onset of the pandemic last year.

Price fluctuations

On the other hand, with regard to prices, oil futures fluctuated in a narrow range tilted to the upside during the Asian session, to witness its rebound for the second session from its lowest since July 21.

NYMEX crude oil futures contracts for September delivery rose 0.50%, to trade at levels of $68.40 a barrel, compared to the opening at $68.06 a barrel.

Brent crude futures for October delivery also rose 0.46%, to trade at $70.57 a barrel, compared to the opening at $70.25 a barrel.

Investors are currently awaiting the release of the unemployment claims index for the past week with the end of July.

The index may reflect a decline of 18,000 applications to 382,000 applications, compared to 400,000 applications in the previous weekly reading.

This comes in conjunction with the release of the merchandise trade balance reading, which may indicate a widening of the deficit to $74.2 billion, compared to $71.2 billion in May.

In contrast, the US Energy Information Administration‘s report on oil inventories for the past week on July 30 showed a surplus of about 3.6 million barrels.