Oil prices steady after rising to 1-week high

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Oil futures edged lower early Thursday as investors kept tabs on debt-ceiling negotiations, a day after crude bounced to its highest finish in a week.

Price action

  • West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery



    fell 19 cents, or 0.3%, to $72.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

  • July Brent crude

    the global benchmark, was off 20 cents or 0.3%, at $76.76 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

  • Back on Nymex, June gasoline

    edged down 0.1% to $2.568 a gallon, while June heating oil

    dropped 0.6% to $2.408 a gallon.

  • June natural gas

    gained 0.6% to $2.38 per million British thermal units.

Market drivers

Crude oil futures found support Wednesday after upbeat comments by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on talks toward lifting the debt ceiling and averting a potentially catastrophic default by the federal government.

See: ‘Doomsday machine’: Here’s what could happen if the debt ceiling is breached

Talks have yet to produce a breakthrough, however.

Need to Know: Debt ceiling is a buy-the-rumor but sell-the-news event, cautions this strategist

Analysts said concerns over supply may be undercutting crude, which was struggling to extend gains as other assets perceived as risky remained on the rise.

“The fact that Investors continue to cheer that the two most extensive markets overhangs are easing ( debt limit and bank deposit runs) and oil is not bouncing higher in tandem with broader risk sentiment today continues to suggest supply, not demand, is hurting the bullish thesis with the ubiquitous dark fleets moving Russian and Iraqi oil to destinations around the world and keep inventories topped,” said Stephen Innes, managing director of SPI Asset Management, in a note.

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