(New York) Oil prices took a breather on Thursday after a sharp rise the day before, caught between the prospect of a European embargo on Russian imports and signs of weakening demand.

The price of a barrel of Brent North Sea, for July delivery, fell 0.05%, to close at $107.45.

The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), with maturity in June, gained 0.39%, to end at 106.13 dollars.

“The economic data is such that it is preventing prices from rising further,” commented John Kilduff of investment advisory firm Again Capital. The analyst notably mentioned the consequences of confinements on activity in China.

On Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) lowered its estimate of global growth for 2022, from 3.9% to 3.5%.

She called for “close monitoring” of the global economy, in the face of the “challenges” of the pandemic, inflation, logistical disruptions and monetary tightening by several central banks.

OPEC now expects oil demand to rise by 3.4 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2022 year-on-year, down 300,000 barrels daily from the forecast released last month. latest.

“High (oil) prices cause demand to contract, which weighs on the economy,” argued John Kilduff.

Moreover, the current risk aversion of investors is benefiting the dollar, at its highest level in its history against a basket of major currencies, which penalizes oil prices, themselves denominated in dollars, explained, in a note, Edward Moya, of Oanda.

The analyst also noted that the impetus given to the black gold by the proposed European Union embargo on Russian oil imports “(seems) to be losing steam”.

According to the Bloomberg agency, several EU member states would plead for a postponement of this embargo, the adoption of which requires unanimity.

The lack of concrete progress on this file has relegated to the background the announcement, Thursday, of the Russian giant Gazprom, which has stopped transporting gas to Europe via the Polish part of the gas pipeline from the Yamal field. , in the north of Russia.

Gazprom had already announced, at the end of April, to suspend its gas deliveries to Bulgaria and Poland.

https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/marches/2022-05-12/le-petrole-pietine-sans-direction-claire-toujours-a-un-niveau-eleve.php

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