Oil is down more than 1% on fears of a banking crisis

(quotes updated, details added)

March 17 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Friday despite reports of a Saudi-Russian meeting and a bailout of distressed banks. Markets remain concerned about the crisis in the financial sector, which has sparked a sell-off of assets around the world this week.

Brent oil futures fell 1.27% to $73.75 a barrel until 4:32 p.m. Moscow time, WTI fell 1.08% to $67.61 a barrel.

Both futures hit more than a year lows this week and could see their sharpest weekly drop since December, down around 10%.

Commodity prices initially rebounded on Friday after the European Central Bank and US lenders bailed out the banking sector.

“The conditions of volatile trade remain unchanged. The roller coaster of oil prices has stopped, but it’s not over yet,” said Steven Brennock of PVM.

Riyadh and Moscow reaffirmed their commitment to the OPEC+ agreement to cut global oil production by 2 million barrels a day, the Russian government said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a drop in the WTI price this week to less than $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2021 could prompt US authorities to begin replenishing Strategic Oil Reserves, potentially boosting demand.

The original message in English is available under the code: (Rowena Edwards in London with Florence Tan and Trixie Sher Lee Yap, translated by Tomasz Kanik)


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