Traders will soon shift focus to China that will reveal industrial production and retail sales data on Friday

Oil prices have been trending north for the third week in a row, with Brent crude refreshing November highs above the $92 figure. The futures stay bullish after a decisive break above the $90 psychological level, suggesting the ascent could continue in the near term as traders remain focused on expectations of tight supply in the months to come.

Of note, the International Energy Agency noted on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia and Russia’s extension of oil output cuts to the end of 2023 will mean a substantial market deficit through the fourth quarter. A day earlier, the OPEC stuck to its forecasts for robust growth in global oil demand in 2023 and 2024.

In other industry news, the EIA data showed that US crude inventories rose by 4 million barrels last week versus an expected 1.9-million-barrel drop. Fuel inventories also rose more than expected, adding to worries about demand.

Oil prices slipped marginally following the release, also slightly pressured by a stronger dollar after mixed inflation numbers. Earlier in the day, Brent crude climbed to fresh 10-month highs around $92.85 before retreating marginally.

Now, traders are gradually shifting focus to China that will reveal industrial production and retail sales data on Friday. The figures from the world’s biggest oil importer could affect oil prices later in the week. Weak data may pressure Brent crude, especially as the futures look attractive for some profit-taking ahead of the weekend.

Technically, oil prices look set to see more gains before attracting sellers at fresh multi-month tops. Should the $93 barrier give up in the near term, the $95 figure will come into the market focus for the first time since November 2022.


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