Crude oil futures were steady at Rs 3,837 per barrel on January 29 as participants increased their long position as seen by the open interest. The crude oil prices edged lower on delay in vaccine rollout, and fresh travel curbs in China and clampdown in the UK could depress demand.
Crude along with other asset classes is struggling for direction amid lack of clear cues.
The US economy contracted by 3.5 percent in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II and the first annual decline in GDP since the 2007-09 Great Recession.
US Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing jobless claims last week was 847,000, strengthening views of persistent labour market weakness.
“NYMEX crude trades in a narrow range above $52 per barrel. Crude is range-bound as support from a sharp decline in US crude oil stocks, Saudi’s production cut and tensions relating to Iran are countered by rising virus cases and mixed economic data from major economies. Crude may continue within recent range amid mixed cues; however decline in US crude stocks and hopes of the tighter global market may keep price supported,” said Ravindra Rao, VP- Head Commodity Research at Kotak Securities.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 0.40 percent quoting at $52.55 per barrel, while Brent crude, the London-based international benchmark, soared 0.69 percent to $55.48 per barrel.
MCX iCOMDEX Crude Oil Index inched higher 15.91 points, or 0.37 percent, at 4,364.60 at 16:15.
In the futures market, crude oil for February delivery touched an intraday high of Rs 3,843 and an intraday low of Rs 3,801 per barrel on the MCX. So far in the current series, black gold has touched a low of Rs 3,486 and a high of Rs 3,958.
Crude oil delivery for February gained Rs 14, or 0.37 percent, to Rs 3,841 per barrel at 16:16 hours IST with a business turnover of 4,657 lots.
Crude oil delivery for March was flat at Rs 3,852 per barrel with a business volume of 21 lots.
The value of February and March’s contracts traded so far is Rs 942.63 crore and Rs 1.88 crore, respectively.
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