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  • WTI rejected once again near $61.50 amid broad USD recovery.
  • Russian oil output surge overshadows trade optimism, Mid-East tensions.
  • Focus remains on Friday’s EIA Crude Stocks data for next direction.

WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) has witnessed some aggressive selling over the last hour, having failed to take out stiff resistances stacked up near $61.50 level.

The fresh leg down in the black gold can be mainly attributed to the latest data released by the Russian Energy Ministry that showed Russian oil and gas condensate production hit a record-high 11.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019.

Further, the bulls also remain weighed down by broad US dollar recovery from five-month lows, as oil market seems to pay little heed to the risk-on trades seen on US-China trade deal optimism and Chinese rate cut announcement. US President Trump announced on Tuesday that phase one trade deal would be signed on Jan. 15 in Washington.

However, the losses appear capped by the ongoing US-Mid East geopolitical tensions and OPEC+ supply cuts. “The U.S. military carried out air strikes against Iran-backed Katib Hezbollah militia group over the weekend. Angry at the air strikes, protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, although they withdrew after the United States deployed extra troops,” as cited by Reuters.

The barrel of WTI awaits Friday’s weekly US Crude Stocks data due to be published by the Energy Information Administration for fresh direction. In the meantime, the USD dynamics, trade and geopolitical headlines will continue to drive the sentiment around oil prices.

WTI Technical levels to consider