Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Business

Oil near flat after choppy trade; U.S. says export ban not ruled out

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices were near flat on Tuesday after choppy trade as tight supply worries offset concerns over a possible recession and China’s COVID-19 curbs.

Brent crude rose 14 cents to settle at $113.56 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 52 cents to settle at $109.77 a barrel.

Oil has surged this year with Brent hitting $139 in March, the highest since 2008, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated supply concerns.

Prices fell on Tuesday after U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said U.S. President Joe Biden had not ruled out using export restrictions to ease soaring domestic fuel prices.

“Initially the assumption is that is going to reduce the prices for products in the United States,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.

Also weighing on prices were worries about threats to the global economy, a main theme of the Davos meeting this week.

Beijing is stepping up quarantine efforts to end its COVID-19 outbreak while Shanghai’s lockdown is due to be lifted in a little more than a week.

Prices earlier were supported as the European Union moved closer to agreeing to a ban on Russian oil imports. Such an embargo is likely to be agreed to “within days,” Germany’s economy minister said on Monday.

Travel during the upcoming U.S. Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the busiest in two years as more drivers hit the road and shake off coronavirus lockdowns despite high pump prices.

The American Petroleum Institute’s weekly inventory report will be in focus at 2030 GMT for a read on demand. Analysts expect lower gasoline and crude inventories. [EIA/S]

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Additional reporting by Alex Lawler, Yuka Obayashi and Isabel Kua; Editing by David Goodman, Marguerita Choy, Mark Porter and Richard Chang)

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