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Title: Oil prices off 7-week lows but under pressure as the release of reserves eyed

Nov 22, 2021 02:35AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

Oil prices rebounded from seven-week lows on Monday but remained under pressure after Japan considered releasing oil reserves and the COVID-19 situation in Europe worsened, sparking concerns of oversupply and weak demand.

At 0725 GMT, Brent lost 26 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.63 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $75.82 a barrel.

The market is on the move as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) release is not yet fully priced in, an oil trader in Singapore said.

WTI and Brent prices fell about 3% on Friday to their lowest levels since October 1, falling for the fourth week in a row for the first time since March 2020.

The White House on Friday again urged the OPEC producers group to maintain adequate global supply, days after the US held talks with some of the world's largest economies on a possible release of oil from strategic reserves to curb high energy prices.

Citi analysts stated in a November 19 note that the bank estimated that this includes 45 million to 60 million barrels from the United States, about 30 million barrels from China, 5 million barrels from India, and 10 million barrels each from Japan and South Korea, the bank estimated.

Another factor weighing on prices was the possibility of renewed closures in Europe as COVID-19 cases surged again. Germany warned on Friday that it may have to move to a full lockdown after Austria said it would again take strict measures to combat the rising infections.

Investors were also watching developments in the Middle East after Saudi state media reported early on Monday that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen had identified signs of an imminent threat to shipping and global trade south of the Red Sea.

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