Oil prices steady as Russia supply fears meet Asian demand concerns


Oil was broadly steady on Wednesday after Russia cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, although lingering concerns about Asian coronavirus lockdowns weighing on economic growth and oil demand kept a lid on prices.

Having dipped into negative territory, Brent crude futures rose 26 cents to $105.25 a barrel while. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 10 cents, to $101.80 a barrel.

Oil prices shrugged off the dollar rising to its highest in two years, making oil purchases more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Tuesday that Asia faces a “stagflationary” outlook with the Ukraine war, a spike in commodity costs and a slowdown in China.

China’s central bank said on Tuesday it would step up monetary policy support as Beijing races to stamp out a nascent COVID-19 outbreak in the capital and avert the same type of debilitating city-wide lockdown Shanghai has been under for a month. Any stimulus would boost oil demand.

U.S. government data on oil inventories is due later on Wednesday. Industry data on Tuesday showed U.S. crude and distillate stocks rose last week while gasoline inventories fell.

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