- WTI erases Monday’s losses and jumps from around $75.60s on China’s reopening expectations.
- US inventories fell, a headwind for WTI price.
- WTI Price Analysis: To continue sideways unless bulls reclaim $78.00 bpd.
Western Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US crude oil benchmark, advance 1.90% on Tuesday courtesy of renewed expectations for oil demand due to China, despite growing speculations that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) would continue to tighten monetary conditions. Therefore, WTI is trading at $77.11, above its opening price, after hitting a low of $75.60.
Sentiment remains upbeat as Wall Street registers gains, except for the Dow Jones. The greenback has recently recovered some ground, capping WTI’s gains during the day, as the US Dollar Index edges up 0.14%.
WTI has reversed Monday’s losses spurred by expectations of increasing oil demand due to China’s reopening. That offset speculations that the Fed would raise rates at least to the 5.25%-5.50% threshold, as money market futures had shown. Furthermore, the US Energy Information and Administration (EIA) office said that production in the US fell to 12.10 million bpd, its lowest since April 2022.
In the meantime, Russia’s oil exports to China grew due to rising demand and lower freight costs.
Nevertheless, WTI’s rally was capped by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announcement, which reported that OPEC+ countries pumped 28.97 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, up 150K from January. However, production remains 700K bpd below from September 2022.
According to a Reuters poll, oil prices are expected to rise above $90 a barrel toward the 2023 second half, as Chinese demand recovers and Russia’s output falls.
WTI Technical analysis
Technically speaking, WTI’s daily chart is neutral to downward biased. During Tuesday’s session, it was rejected at the 50-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) around 77.99, though it’s clinging to gains above the 20-day EMA at 77.02. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) triggered a bullish signal as it crossed above the 50-midline, but buyers must reclaim the 50-day EMA for a bullish continuation that could send WTI rallying toward the YTD high at $82.44. On the flip side, a fall below the 20-day EMA will spur a drop to the February 22 daily low of $73.83.
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