Western Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US crude oil benchmark, is trading around $74.30 on Wednesday. WTI prices drift lower on the day as traders focus on increasing oil output in the US and rising supply in Libya and Norway.
According to the American Petroleum Institute weekly report on Wednesday, US crude oil inventories fell by 6.674M barrels for the week ending January 19 from the previous reading of 0.483M barrels.
Elsewhere, Norway’s crude production rose to 1.85M barrels per day (bpd) in December from 1.81M bpd the previous month, while Libya’s production was at 300,000 bpd. That being said, rising production might exert some pressure on WTI prices.
Apart from this, the sluggish economic recovery in China weighs on WTI prices, as China is the world’s largest oil importer. The weaker-than-expected GDP growth number for the fourth quarter of 2023 dampened oil demand.
On the other hand, the geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea might cap the downside of WTI prices. The Pentagon said on Monday that the US and British forces carried out a new round of strikes in Yemen, targeting a Houthi underground storage site as well as missile and surveillance capabilities used by the Iran-aligned group against Red Sea shipping.
Oil traders will monitor US S&P Global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data on Wednesday. The US GDP data for Q4 will be released on Thursday and the Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (Core PCE) will be due on Friday. These events could significantly impact the USD-denominated WTI price. Oil traders will take cues from the data and find trading opportunities around WTI prices.