Oil futures retreated on Tuesday, with crude prices pausing after a sharp run-up in the previous session that had been partly fueled by reports that Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a drone attack over the weekend on one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields.
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery CLV19, -0.07% lost 25 cents, or 0.5%, to $55.90 a barrel, after the most-active contract gained 2.4% on Monday. October Brent BRNV19, -0.05% edged 20 cents, or 0.3%, lower at $59.64 a barrel, following a 1.9% gain in the previous session.
Oil prices have mostly risen over the past two weeks as expectations that central banks across the globe will combat signs of recession with greater stimulus that could help stimulate appetite for crude and other energy assets.
“Global oil demand forecasts are likely to see upgrades as central banks and governments become more aggressive in delivering stimulus,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a daily research note.
“With expectations for this week’s inventory data to post a small draw, we could see oil remain focused on geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and updates on Germany’s stimulus plan and further cues from the Fed,” he wrote.
Investors are awaiting inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, which will be followed by the closely watched U.S. Energy Information Administration report at 10:30 a.m on Wednesday.
In the previous session crude markets bucked higher after the Houthis on Saturday said they targeted the Shaybah oil field, which is owned by Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, and holds about 14 billion barrels of oil, according to The Wall Street Journal. Aramco said a fire was extinguished at a natural-gas processing plant and that there were no injuries and no disruptions to production at the field, which produces around 1 million barrels of oil a day.