© Reuters. Oil storage containers are seen, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files
BEIJING (Reuters) – Oil prices rose early on Wednesday, bouncing back after earlier falling more than $1 a barrel, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to dominate volatile trading with ceasefire talks the latest market trigger.
futures were up 83 cents, or 0.8%, at $100.74 a barrel at 0120 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 58 cents, or 0.6%, at $97.02 a barrel. Both contracts had earlier declined more than $1, with Brent falling to $98.86 a barrel and WTI easing to $94.90 a barrel.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address released early on Wednesday that the positions of Ukraine and Russia at peace talks were sounding more realistic, but more time was needed.
“Traders are awaiting more clues from ceasefire talks after a two-day selloff in the oil markets, but the crude prices may continue being under pressure as high inflation will eventually drag on economic growth and weakens demands,” said Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets.
Oil had settled below $100 on Tuesday, the first time since late February. Trading sessions have been volatile since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, with prices hitting 14-year highs on March 7, but since then Brent has fallen nearly $40 a barrel and WTI about $34.
Prices have also come under pressure in recent days over concerns of slowing China demand, as the world’s most populous country and second-largest oil consumer imposes stringent measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, preliminary data from the American Petroleum Institute showed inventories rose by 3.8 million barrels for the week ended March 11, while gasoline inventories fell by 3.8 million barrels and distillate stocks rose by 888,000 barrels, according to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Official U.S. government inventory data is due on Wednesday.
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