After five successive days of losses, crude oil futures settled higher on Tuesday, as prices rebounded a bit, on reports OPEC and allies might reduce crude output due to a likely drop in energy demand following the coronavirus outbreak.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.34, or about 0.6%, at $53.48 a barrel.
Brent Crude futures edged up $0.13, or about 0.2%, to $59.43 a barrel.
On Monday, WTI crude oil futures for March ended down $1.05, or 1.9%, at $53.14 a barrel, a more than 3-month low. Oil prices dropped to a low of $52.13 earlier in the session.
Oil prices drifted lower earlier in the session today after China reported 24 more deaths from coronavirus epidemic, taking the number of fatalities to 106 and raising concerns about a hit to global economic growth.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), allies in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which tried to play down the impact of the virus on Monday, are now reportedly considering deepening the ongoing production cuts to stave off excessive price slides.
Data showing an improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of January, and a bigger than expected increase in durable goods orders in the month of December contributed a bit to oil’s uptick.
Markets now look ahead to the weekly crude inventories data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Energy Information Administration (EIA).
While API’s weekly report is due later in the day, the EIA’s inventory data will be out on Wednesday morning.