Crude oil prices continued their extended gains since yesterday evening. Spot West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil rose by 2.12% at approximately 1:15 today, and Brent crude also rose by 1.82% at the same time.
Today’s oil gains came with more optimistic expectations about the future of oil demand this year, despite tight monetary conditions and inflation.
BMO Capital Markets analysts expect in a report that despite the high interest rate and inflation environment, demand for oil may grow by one million barrels per day during the current year and by 1.7 million barrels during the next year.
BMO also expects WTI crude oil to trade between $70 to $90 per barrel during the first half of this year and between $80 to $100 per barrel during the second half.
These positive expectations coincide with the turbulent environment in the Middle East, which may threaten the safety of global oil supplies if the ongoing conflict expands unexpectedly.
This may not seem unlikely in reality, in light of the recent rapid developments that suggest the possibility that we will witness more shocking and unexpected events, whether in the region or outside it.
Additionally, we continue to see more positive signs from the Chinese economy which will ultimately lead to more demand for oil.
For example, we saw manufacturing activity continue to grow last December for the second month in a row, albeit slightly, according to the December’s S&P Global/Caixin manufacturing PMI report. While this continuing trend of expanding activities may be an additional positive sign for the oil markets.