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  • WTI price is expected to close the week in a positive territory due to multiple factors.
  • US GDP data contributed support to reinforcing the Crude oil prices.
  • PBoC’s strategy to inject liquidity into the economy contributes to the strength in oil prices.
  • Chinese officials asked their Iranian counterparts to help restrain attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price pauses its two-day winning streak but is anticipated to conclude the week on a positive note, trading near $77.00 per barrel during the Asian session on Friday. However, the Crude oil prices received a positive momentum, which is attributed, in part, to the better-than-expected GDP Annualized (Q4) released from the United States on Thursday.

Additionally, the strength in Crude oil prices can be attributed to various factors, notably speculation surrounding the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) considering a Medium-term Lending Facility (MLF) rate cut. This speculation has gained momentum following a recent statement by PBoC Governor Pan Gongsheng, who announced a reduction in the Required Reserve Ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points starting from February 5th. The RRR cut is part of the central bank’s strategy to inject liquidity into the economy, with the move expected to release approximately CNY 1 trillion of extra funds. This contributes to the strength in Crude oil prices, considering the fact that China, being the largest oil importer, plays a significant role in influencing global oil markets.

The geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are contributing to the support of oil prices, causing them to edge higher. The leader of the Houthi group stated on Thursday that they would persist in targeting ships associated with Israel until aid reaches the Palestinian people in Gaza. Notably, Chinese officials have intervened, urging their Iranian counterparts to help restrain attacks on ships in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed Houthis. The potential disruption to business relations with Beijing was emphasized.

Moreover, the upward movement in the WTI oil price is further supported by a decrease in US crude oil stockpiles. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Crude Oil Stocks Change showed a significant decrease compared to the prior week’s drop. Additionally, the severe weather conditions disrupted crude oil production and transportation, especially in North Dakota, leading to fluctuations in inventory levels. The business barometer for the drilling industry and its suppliers, Baker Hughes US Oil Rig Count will be released on Friday, along with the US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index data.

 

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