The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil experienced a notable increase on 08/02/2024, reaching the area of $76.40 per barrel, which represents an increase of more than 3% in its value.
The recent increase in the price of crude oil could find its explanation in several key factors. One of them is attributed to the exceptional performance of major U.S. fuel producers during the last quarter of 2023 last week.
Thanks to solid refining margins and outstanding operating performance, these manufacturers outperformed market expectations, generating positive momentum in the sector. In addition, their optimistic earnings growth projections for this year, supported by continued growth in global demand, have helped to consolidate the upward trend in crude oil prices.
This increase in crude oil prices reflects not only the success of fuel manufacturers, but also confidence in the global economic recovery and the sustained increase in energy consumption.
Global demand for fuels is expected to continue to rise, which could further boost crude oil prices in the near future. However, this situation also poses challenges for consumers and industries that rely on petroleum products, as they could face higher operating costs and inflationary pressures as the price of crude oil continues to rise.
On January 30, 2024, Marathon Petroleum Corporation announced strong financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023, highlighting significant cash flow from operations and a continued commitment to shareholder profitability.
It posted Earnings Per Share of $3.98, compared to $2.22 expected by analysts. Revenues for the quarter reached $36.82 billion, exceeding expectations of $34.18 billion.
Also on January 31, 2024, Phillips 66 announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023. During this period, it posted earnings per share of $3.09, a significant increase compared to the $2.34 expected by analysts. However, revenue for the quarter fell short of expectations, totaling $36.64 billion instead of the projected $39.05 billion.
This increase could also have been due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East region and the case of the three U.S. servicemen killed in Jordan a few days ago. Investors are closely following these reports as it could have a much stronger escalation than expected.
The recent increase in oil prices could be attributed, in part, to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East region, as well as the tragic incident that resulted in the death of three U.S. servicemen in Jordan just a few days ago. Investors are keeping a close eye on these developments, aware that any escalation in the conflict could have significant repercussions on global financial markets, especially with regard to oil supply and price.
These recent events highlight the volatility inherent in the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and underscore the importance of closely monitoring any developments that could have an impact on global economic and political stability.
The uncertainty resulting from such events reinforces the need for strategic planning by economic and political actors to mitigate any potential risks and protect long-term financial interests.
Finally, the increase in the price of oil could raise concerns about inflation and trigger debates about the need to reduce or adjust interest rates. This comes at a time of apparent stabilization in inflation rates.