Oil steadies as traders await more Russian imports

Oil steadies as traders await more Russian imports

Oil was moving upward after a day of losses over demand related to the Covid 19 lockdown in China.

There are restrictions in the country, including in the economic hub of Shanghai, where tens of millions are confined to their homes, but traders are trying to balance demand shock with threats to supply due to the war in Ukraine with European Union countries mulling bans on Russian crude.

The United States is going to release a large portion of its oil reserves to cushion the shortfall.

After Tuesday's sharp pullback, oil is still trading mixed, but is opening in Asia near the midpoint of yesterday's trading range - the US inventory draws lean helpful. There isn't much news overnight, with a trajectory from here really hinting on whether other nations will join the UK US in banning Russian oil imports, Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said.

Markets in Asia were largely up with Japan's Nikkei 225 gaining more than a percent in early trade, with brokers optimistic over a falling yen for a third consecutive day.

The Hang Seng Index continued its downward spiral, and Shanghai opened lower as news from China around Covid 19 restrictions, interest rate cuts and curbs on tech companies remained a cause of concern.

Seoul, Jakarta, Taipei, and Sydney were all marginally higher.

Europe pushed ahead yesterday aided by news of a return to growth in the eurozone's industrial output in February.

Players will be cautious ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks before the US central bank meets next, with concerns about rate hikes.

Fed Chair Powell and ECB President Lagarde speak at an IMF Panel, while BoE Governor Bailey speaks at a separate event later Thursday, Innes said.

The recent global bond market rally is a respite from the upward spiral of yields, and these central bankers, notably Powell, are unlikely to push back against market pricing. Dollar yen: UP at 128.47 yen from 127.84 yen

The euro pound was DOWN at 82.96 pence from 83.03 pence.

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.22 at $103.43 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.28 percent at $108.17 per barrel.

New York- Dow was up 0.7 percent at 35,160.