(London) Oil prices were down on Thursday, weighed down by fears weighing on demand for black gold due to runaway inflation, aggravated by the war in Ukraine.
Around 5:20 a.m., a barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in July lost 1.91% to 105.46 dollars.
The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in June fell 2.11% to 103.48 dollars.
“The back and forth in the oil market continues,” commented Carsten Fritsch, analyst for Commerzbank. “Oil prices lack clear direction.”
Oil prices had rebounded strongly on Wednesday after several losing sessions, galvanized by fears of supply disruption.
Yesterday’s gains “as well as this morning’s pullback accurately reflect the paralyzed state of the oil market,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at PVM Energy.
“What is the ultimate driving force? Fear of a recession or a shortage of supply? asks the analyst. “The global economy is faltering due to high inflation exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis and subsequent interest rate hikes. »
U.S. commercial crude oil supplies surged unexpectedly last week, which usually signifies a demand slump. But this rebound actually reflects a significant drawdown on US strategic reserves of 7 million barrels.
At the same time, inflation slowed down a little in the United States in April, but brought only a slight relief as long as the rise in prices remained strong.
“Stock markets are therefore in trouble and consumer (and retail oil) price inflation is having a profound impact on global oil demand,” continues Tamas Varga.
On Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) ruled out “any acute near-term supply shortfall” in oil, thanks to “the steady rise in production elsewhere (than Russia), with a slowdown demand growth, especially in China,” according to its monthly oil report.