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James Hyerczyk
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WTI and Brent Crude Oil

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading mixed shortly after the regular session opening. The U.S. Dollar’s pullback from an earlier high is helping crude oil to recover from earlier weakness.

Crude oil futures fell 1% overnight as worries about a drop in demand for fuel products in the wake of yet more European lockdowns dominated trading. The dollar was supported by safe-haven buying as fear of a currency crisis in Turkey increased its appeal as a safe-harbor.

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At 12:18 GMT, May WTI crude oil futures are trading $61.25, down $0.19 or -0.31% and June Brent crude oil futures are at $64.11, down $0.24 or -0.37%.

Demand Recovery Worries as Germany Plans to Extend Lockdown

Germany plans to extend a lockdown to contain COVID-19 infections into a fifth month, according to a draft proposal, after new cases exceeded levels authorities say will cause hospitals to be overstretched.

The German economy is likely to shrink sharply this quarter as pandemic-fighting curbs hit the services sector and even the booming construction industry slows, the Bundesbank said on Monday.

In its latest monthly report, the German central bank seemed to abandon its expectations of a rebound in the spring and dropped references to the vaccination campaign, which has been plagued by delivery delays and news reports of possible side-effects, as a catalyst.

The Bundesbank had said in last month’s report that the economy would recover in the spring as coronavirus infections fell and vaccines were distributed.

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India’s Crude Imports Fall in February as Demand Slows, New Virus Wave Looms

India’s crude oil imports fell by the most in four months in February, government data showed on Monday, as demand slowed due to rising fuel prices and as the country faces a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and potentially fresh restrictions.

India’s crude oil imports in February fell 18.3% from a year earlier to 15.24 million tonnes, the biggest year-on-year fall since October 2020, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed.

Daily Forecast

It’s going to take a number of positive events in the crude oil market in order to overcome a wall of resistance at $62.36, $63.04 and $64.16. With the trend down on the daily chart, sellers are likely to come in on a test of these levels.

The key worries remain the possibility of renewed demand destruction if coronavirus gets out of control again in Europe, rising COVID-19 cases in the U.S., increasing U.S. supplies and fear of more supply from Iran.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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