Oil prices are little changed on Tuesday due to uncertainty around OPEC+ voluntary production cuts, ongoing tensions in the Middle East, and weak economic data from the United States.
Brent crude futures were down 1 cent at $78.02 per barrel as of 04:02 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 5 cents at $73.09 per barrel.
Comments from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister that OPEC+ production cuts could continue beyond the first quarter of 2024 if necessary provided some support to the market.
Oil prices fell in the previous trading session as OPEC+ supply cuts were doubted to have a significant impact and the strong US dollar weighed on commodity prices generally.
A stronger dollar generally makes oil more expensive for those who hold other currencies, which can reduce oil demand.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, together known as OPEC+, agreed on Thursday to impose voluntary production cuts totaling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of 2024, led by Saudi Arabia. These cuts of at least 1.3 million barrels per day are an extension of voluntary curbs already imposed by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The resumption of fighting in the Israel-Hamas war has raised supply concerns, as have attacks on three commercial ships in international waters south of the Red Sea.
Data released Tuesday showed U.S. factory orders fell by more than analysts expected in October and by the most in three years, weakening oil market confidence. Analysts said this reinforces the view that higher interest rates are starting to restrain spending.