Oil catches its breath, the nuclear agreement in the sights

Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday, the market watching for new information about the Iranian nuclear deal or new signals on the global economy.

The barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in October lost 0.13% to 92.20 dollars.

The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in September yielded 0.09%, to 86.45 dollars.

If the black gold slowed its tumble, it remained at a very low level, the Brent having reached 91.51 dollars earlier in the session, a level not seen since mid-February, before the invasion of Ukraine.

The day before, the WTI had sunk to 85.73 dollars, the lowest since the end of January.

“The oil market is struggling to ignore recession fears, and that is unlikely to change soon,” said Stephen Brennock, analyst at PVM.

In Europe and Asia, lackluster economic indicators are weighing on the outlook for crude oil demand.

In the United Kingdom, inflation exceeded 10% for the first time in 40 years, undermining the purchasing power of the British.

The market is also monitoring the negotiations around the Iranian nuclear agreement, which would allow the country to resume its oil exports.

The European Union (EU) said on Tuesday it was examining Iran’s response to its “final” compromise on the nuclear issue.

“The market seems to be positioning itself for the possibility of an agreement, but the risk is that in the event of failure, prices will turn back” and rise sharply, warns Warren Patterson, analyst at ING.

The new secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), however, wanted to reassure the markets on Wednesday morning.

“China is a phenomenal source of growth,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“We have yet to see China reopen because of its zero-Covid policy. I think it will have a marked effect when China resumes at its normal pace,” he added.

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