Oil prices steadied in early Asian trade on Tuesday after falling by more than 2% in the previous session on the threat of further interest rate hikes and continued Russian crude flows. Brent crude futures gained 28 cents to $85.18 per barrel by 0155 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 9 cents to $77.99.
Investors expect the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, with a half-point increase by the Bank of England and European Central Bank the following day. Higher rates could slow the global economy and weaken oil demand.
The market also turned its attention to a planned virtual meeting on Feb. 1 at 1100 GMT of the ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others including Russia, a group known as OPEC+. The panel is expected to recommend keeping the oil producer group’s current output policy unchanged when it meets this week, five OPEC+ delegates told Reuters on Monday.
OPEC+ agreed in October to cut its production target by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), about 2% of world demand, from November until the end of 2023. Russia continues to supply the global market with its oil despite a European Union ban and G7 price cap imposed over its invasion of Ukraine, which pressured prices.
Lending some support to oil prices, the U.S. dollar index has fallen by 1.3% in January so far. A weaker dollar makes crude less expensive for non-U.S. buyers.