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  • Crude oil prices continue to fluctuate in a tight range.
  • WTI stays below $60 as focus shifts to Baker Huges Oil Rig Count data.
  • Renewed coronavirus restriction measures continue to cloud the energy demand outlook.

After suffering heavy losses at the start of the week, crude oil prices struggled to stage a convincing rebound and seem to have gone into a consolidation phase.

Focus shifts to US Oil Rig Count

The barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which lost more than 4% on Monday, closed the previous two trading day virtually unchanged and continues to move sideways below $60. As o writing, WTI was down 0.32% on the day at $59.55.

Later in the day, the Baker Hughes Energy Services’ weekly US Oil Rig Count data will be looked upon for fresh impetus.

Meanwhile, investors continue to assess the demand and supply dynamics. Renewed coronavirus restriction measures in major economies revived concerns over an unsteady recovery in global energy demand. On the other hand,  the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, the group known as OPEC+, will be ramping up  the crude oil output by around 2 million barrels per day between May and July.

Earlier in the week, the data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude oil inventories in the US declined by 3.5 million barrels in the week ending April 2. Although the draw in oil stocks was larger than analysts’ estimate of 1.4 million barrels, WTI struggled to gain traction.

Technical levels to watch for