Oil Prices Gain Little as Recession Fears Subside

Oil prices gained little in early Asian trade on Monday as worries about a U.S. recession, which had driven prices down for three consecutive weeks for the first time since November, started to ease.

Brent crude futures were up 6 cents at US$75.36 a barrel at 10.45 A.M. Bangkok time. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 8 cents at US$71.42.

According to Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets, oil’s bounce back follows the uptick in energy equities on Wall Street last Friday, after the release of strong U.S. employment data that calmed investors’ fears of an nearing economic recession.

She also mentioned a weaker dollar, and the anticipation of supply cuts at the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+), in June as factors that have helped halt the decline in prices.

Concerns that the U.S. banking crisis could stall the economy and reduce fuel demand pushed the Brent benchmark down 5.3% and the WTI benchmark down 7.0% last week; however, both benchmarks ended the week with a significant rebound on Friday.

The U.S. is expected to report consumer price inflation figures for April on Wednesday.