London — Oil rose on Thursday after sliding 1% in the previous session on the prospect of higher Chinese demand and geopolitical risks.
Brent crude futures were up $1.09, or 1.21%, to $90.92 per barrel at 8.15am GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $1.11, or 1.34%, at $84.05,
Crude oil demand in China, the world’s largest oil importer, is rebounding, having been dampened by strict Covid-19 restrictions.
At least three Chinese state oil refineries and a privately run mega refiner are considering increasing runs by up to 10% in October from September, eyeing stronger demand and a possible surge in fourth-quarter fuel exports, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Meanwhile, Russia pushed ahead on Thursday with its biggest conscription since World War 2, raising concerns an escalation of the war in Ukraine could further hurt supply.
“[Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] frequent irrational actions and reactions are what will keep the market volatile and violent on occasions,” said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
Keeping a cap on prices, the market is awaiting a Bank of England decision at 12pm GMT where a rise of at least half a percentage point in interest rates is expected in a bid to tame inflation that is just off a 40-year high.
Policy decisions are also coming in on Thursday from the Swiss National Bank, the Norges Bank, Bank Indonesia, the Central Bank of Turkey and the SA Reserve Bank.
“With the exception of Turkey, the consensus is expecting every central bank on that list to hike rates today, which just shows how synchronised this current tightening cycle is,” Deutsche Bank said.
On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points for the third time and signalled that borrowing costs would keep rising this year, in a move that sent Brent and WTI to a near two-week low.
Further pressure followed stock builds. US crude inventories rose by 1.1-million barrels in the week to September 16 to 430.8-million barrels, smaller than analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.2-million-barrel rise.