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Title: Oil prices recoup losses as Russia-Ukraine tensions ease

Feb 16, 2022 02:40AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

Oil prices returned to losses on Wednesday after falling more than 3% in the previous session as investors assessed the impact of easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine on the tight balance of global supplies and recovering fuel demand.

At 7:22 a.m. EDT, Brent crude was trading at $93.90 a barrel, up 62 cents, or 0.7%, after falling 3.3% overnight after Russia announced a partial withdrawal of its troops near Ukraine that has yet to be verified by the United States.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was selling at $92.71 a barrel, down 64 cents, or 0.7%, after the contract ended Tuesday's session down 3.6%.

On Monday, both benchmarks hit their highest levels since September 2014, with Brent reaching $96.78 and WTI reaching $95.82. The price of Brent jumped 50% in 2021, while WTI jumped roughly 60% as a global recovery in demand from the COVID-19 pandemic strained supply.

Tuesday's announcement by Moscow of a partial troop withdrawal from the Ukrainian border was met with skepticism as US President Joe Biden warned that more than 150,000 Russian troops were still massed at the border.

However, apart from the tensions in Ukraine, the oil market is still tight and prices are still on their way to $100 a barrel.

While the Ukraine crisis simmered, the U.S. Labor Department reported that producer prices rose in January by the most in eight months, a reminder that high inflation could persist for most of this year.

Investors await weekly U.S. crude inventory data from the Energy Information Administration, which will be released Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

According to a Reuters poll, U.S. crude oil and distillate inventories may have declined by 1.5 million to 1.6 million barrels last week.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday showed a drop in crude oil, gasoline, and distillate inventories last week, according to market sources.

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