Oil Steadys As China Moves To Revive Ailing Economy

(Bloomberg) — After falling the most in a week on Monday — oil was steady as Chinese measures to help its asset market boosted the demand outlook.

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West Texas Intermediate traded above $73 a barrel, down 1.2% in the previous session. Chinese regulators have pressured financial institutions to ease regulations for property firms by encouraging negotiations to extend outstanding loans. The country’s sluggish real estate sector and sluggish economic recovery have weighed on commodities this year.

Crude is about 9% lower this year, with resilient supply from producers including Russia and Iran adding pressure on benchmark futures. Russian oil prices in one of its western ports recently rose and were very close to a price ceiling implemented after the invasion of Ukraine.

Interest rate hikes by central banks are another headwind for oil, and policymakers will need to tighten further this year to bring inflation back toward the central bank’s target, Federal Reserve officials said on Monday. This will keep US demand and hopes of further price gains in check.

The International Energy Agency and OPEC will release their monthly reports on Thursday, providing snapshots of the market. This follows last week’s moves by Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut supply to raise oil prices.

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