(LONDON) Oil prices jumped more than 5% on Wednesday, after two sessions of decline, galvanized by concerns over Russian hydrocarbon supplies, slowing inflation in the United States and falling COVID cases. -19 in China.
Around 10:50 a.m., a barrel of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for June delivery rose 5.67% to $105.42, and that of North Sea Brent for July delivery rose 5.07% to $107.67.
“Oil prices are recovering on Wednesday after [WTI] briefly dipped below $100” the day before, said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.
The rise in prices accelerated after the publication of data showing a slight slowdown in inflation in April in the United States, due in particular to the drop in gasoline prices which had soared in March because of the war. in Ukraine.
In April, year-on-year inflation reached 8.3%, compared to 8.5% in March. This is the first slowdown in eight months, although the rise in prices is still very strong, still close to the 40-year high it recorded last month.
Other macroeconomic data scrutinized by the market: commercial crude oil reserves in the United States surged last week unexpectedly, by 8.5 million barrels.
This strong rebound, however, reflects a significant drawdown on US strategic reserves, according to the weekly report from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) published on Wednesday.
Analysts had expected crude inventories to fall by 1.45 million barrels, according to the median of a consensus compiled by Bloomberg.
In the background, the consequences of the war in Ukraine, “in particular the prospect of a ban on Russian oil by the European Union and the restrictive effect this would have on the availability” of hydrocarbons, are also pushing prices towards the top, says Victoria Scholar, an analyst for Interactive Investor.
However, the project is currently blocked by Budapest. “The proposal must be unanimously supported by all 27 EU countries, but members who are heavily dependent on Russian energy are not playing the game,” said Stephen Brennock, analyst at PVM Energy.
Fears over the reliability of hydrocarbon supplies have resumed, with the volume of Russian gas transiting through Ukraine appearing to be down on Wednesday, as fighting in the east of the country with the Russian army prevents, according to Kyiv, the proper functioning of gas infrastructure.
The Bloomberg agency also reports a drop in COVID-19 contaminations in Shanghai and Beijing, bringing a wind of optimism to the markets.
The country is maintaining its zero COVID-19 policy, which WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday deemed “unsustainable”, in remarks unusually critical of China.