Oil prices were mixed early Tuesday after traders cashed in on lower oil sales, and following the release of positive economic data from China although demand worries linger after Saudi Arabia cut crude prices for Asian customers.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $72.44 per barrel at 0719 GMT for a 0.30% gain after closing Monday at $72.22 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $69.03 a barrel at the same time with a 0.38% decrease after ending the previous session at $69.29 per barrel.
The uptick in oil prices was mainly boosted by mild bullish sentiment on the market where investors quickly cashed in on lower prices.
A strong rebound in China’s imports and exports in August, despite disruptions caused by the spread of the coronavirus delta variant, also lent support to the upward price trend.
Exports in August rose by 25.6% over a year earlier to $294.3 billion, up from an 18.9% increase in July, customs data showed Tuesday. Imports in August also rose by 33.1% to $236 billion, up from 28.7% in July.
The supply disruptions in the US are still ongoing in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, putting upward pressure on prices.
According to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 83.9% of the current oil production and 80.8% of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico have been shut in.
However, demand woes have increased after Saudi Arabia’s state oil company on Sunday announced it would slash crude oil prices to its Asian customers in October.
The oil-rich country will lower its prices of Arab Light crude for its Asian customers by $1.30. Investors interpreted the move as falling demand in Asia, as the region has also been battling with a recent Delta outbreak.
By Sibel Morrow