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What Will It Take For Oil To Break Out Of Its Range?

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil finished higher on Thursday. The market is also up for the week, extending gains from the previous two sessions on signs of a strong economic rebound in China, the world’s top oil importer.

Traders appear to be waiting for the next catalyst to overcome worries over a rise in U.S. crude inventories and concerns over overall global demand. Possible catalysts that could trigger a breakout to the upside are an improving demand recovery in China or a weaker U.S. Dollar.

Potentially Bullish Factors Underpinning Crude Oil

WTI and Brent crude oil is up for the week, helped by data that showed manufacturing activity in China in February grew at the fastest pace in more than a decade, adding to evidence of an economic rebound in the world’s second largest economy after the lifting of strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, crude oil processed by Indian refiners reached record levels in January, provisional government data on Wednesday showed, as the country boosted imports of Russian barrels that Western countries shunned.

Refinery throughput in the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer reached 5.39 million barrels per day for January, the highest since Reuters records going back to 2009.

Bearish Factors that Could Cap Gains

Wednesday’s gains were capped by a tenth consecutive week of crude stock builds as reported by the U.S. government.

The U.S. Energy Information…

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