Following the Friday trading session, the Brent oil prices managed to slightly regain positions. However, the overall figures showed that the last week brought some 1% decline. The quotes saw some support at the $61/bbl handle and improved to $62/bbl. Despite the increase, the oil market has remained shaky and started this week with a price decline. The current price stays near $61.80/bbl.
The US-China trade conflict enters the picture again, bringing new downward risks for the oil market. Specifically, the parties will hold a meeting in the near term, but there is a chance that Washington and Beijing will fail to come to terms before March starts. In this situation, investors are getting even more nervous being already affected by signs of slower economic growth in the world. This week the market will be focused on the trade and economic issues.
At the same time, a monthly OPEC report and oil report by the International Energy Agency will be the spotlight this week as well. Both reports are expected in the first half of the week. In fact, the US oil reserves report can somewhat affect pricing, especially in case of higher reserves and production volumes.
According to the data released by Baker Hughes, the number of active rigs in the USA rose by 7 to 854 units last week.
As for political factors, investors are yet to react to the Venezuelan sanctions. However, this factor can affect futures in the long run, particularly on the expiration of the softer import terms for Iranian oil buying.
In the short run, the Brent prices will remain based on the stock markets and macroeconomics. The main event for this week – US-China trade talks. The price still can fall below the $60 handle.