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MNI Commodity Weekly: Middle East Tensions Combat Market Bearishness

  • Middle East Tensions Combat Market Bearishness: Protests in Libya, Red Sea Rocket attacks, and the Israel-Hezbollah-Iran tensions remain key areas of concern for oil and gas markets, despite 2024 starting on a bearish note.
  • Oil Markets: No clear direction in crude markets with supply risks weighed against a cut in Saudi Arabia OSPs and slowing global demand growth this year. Diesel and gasoline markets are however seeing support from US refinery outages and the impact of intense cold in the US.
  • See 2024 oil price outlooks from sell side, industry research outlets and major oil traders.
  • Gas Markets: Temperatures continue to be the main driver for global natural gas benchmark prices. European gas prices pulled back this week due to a slight upward revision in temperatures while high stock levels and sufficient supplies add further downside. Asian LNG prices also eased lower as temperatures remain above the norm, paired with high inventories. In contrast, US natgas prices spiked to the highest since early November this week, driven by forecast for a cold spell in most of Lower 48.
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