LONDON (TDR -Oil prices were stable on Monday, struggling to reverse last week’s losses as the market balanced tightening supplies with concerns about slowing global economic growth.
futures were down 14 cents, or 0.12%, at $112.98 a barrel by 1246 GMT. Front-month prices tumbled 7.3% last week for their first weekly fall in five.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 13 cents, or 0.12%, at $109.69. Front-month prices dropped 9.2% last week for the first decline in eight weeks.
“Friday’s steep price fall can be seen as a delayed reaction to the concerns about recession that have already been weighing on the prices of other commodities for some time,” said Commerzbank (ETR:) analyst Carsten Fritsch.
Analysts and investors said they believe a recession is more likely after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved on Wednesday the largest interest rate increase in more than a quarter of a century in an effort to contain a surge in inflation.
Similar tightening approaches by the Bank of England and Swiss National Bank last week ensued.
Brent crude futures on Monday touched their lowest in a month, but some analysts expect the slump to be short-lived.
“Supplies will remain tight and continue supporting high oil prices. The norm for ICE (NYSE:) Brent is still around the $120/bbl mark,” said PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.
Western sanctions have reduced access to oil from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special operation”.
While China’s imports from Russia in May soared 55% from a year earlier to a record high, displacing Saudi Arabia as the top supplier, the country’s export quotas have resulted in declining oil product shipments.
Tight refined products markets have supported oil prices.
Analysts expect limited summer increases from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known collectively as OPEC+.
Libya’s oil production has remained volatile following blockades by groups in the country’s east, with its output most recently pegged at 700,000 per day.
Meanwhile, prospects are dwindling for Iranian sanctions relief that could result in a meaningful increase in the country’s crude exports.
There has been some mitigation for tight supply with the release of strategic petroleum reserves, led by the United States. U.S. production is also climbing, according to rig count data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co.