Commodity Market: US Crude Oil retreats due to renewed virus-related demand concerns and as the US dollar strengthens

Futures on US West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil retreated on Thursday, because of renewed fuel demand concerns stemming from travel curbs and vaccine delays in various parts of the globe.

A stronger dollar also pressured the USD-denominated commodity. The US Dollar Index was last up 0.08% on the day at 90.71, after earlier rising as high as 90.75.

Data earlier this week revealed a huge drop in US crude oil stocks during the week ended January 22nd, while confounding analyst estimates and supporting the oil market.

However, worries over oil demand are once again weighing on oil prices amid surging new COVID-19 infections and new, more contagious variants of the virus.

China, the second-largest oil consumer globally, is looking to impose travel curbs amid rising new COVID-19 cases and as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches. China’s Ministry of Transport now expects the number of trips that will be taken to increase 15% compared to 2020, but to be 40% fewer compared to 2019.

Additionally, stricter vaccine checks by the EU coupled with hold ups of deliveries from Pfizer and AstraZeneca have resulted in slower vaccine roll-out across the bloc.

“We are moving from just a Q1 demand write off to now pricing in more demand pain in Q2 due to the slow vaccine rollout,” Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“Particularly from Europe where the slow vaccine roll-out and the extended lockdowns point to a double-dip recession,” Innes added.

And Britain now requires travelers arriving from high-risk COVID-19 countries to place themselves under quarantine for 10 days, while outbound travels are barred. The only exception are travels for specific reasons.

As of 10:15 GMT on Thursday WTI Crude Oil Futures were edging down 0.36% to trade at $52.66 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $52.22-$52.81 per barrel. WTI Crude Oil Futures have risen 8.59% so far in January, following another 7.01% surge in December.

Brent Oil Futures were edging up 0.29% on the day to trade at $55.70 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $55.34-$55.74 per barrel. Brent Oil Futures have risen 7.87% so far in January, following another 8.52% surge in December.

Daily Pivot Levels (traditional method of calculation) – WTI Crude Oil Futures

Central Pivot – $52.67
R1 – $53.48
R2 – $54.12
R3 – $54.93
R4 – $55.75

S1 – $52.03
S2 – $51.22
S3 – $50.58
S4 – $49.95

Daily Pivot Levels (traditional method of calculation) – Brent Oil Futures

Central Pivot – $55.75
R1 – $56.27
R2 – $57.01
R3 – $57.53
R4 – $58.06

S1 – $55.01
S2 – $54.49
S3 – $53.75
S4 – $53.02

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