Oil prices steady as Russia-Ukraine tensions cool

A pump jack operates in the Permian Basin oil and natural gas production area near Odessa, Texas. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices fell on Wednesday after retreating more than 3% in the previous session as investors gauged the impact of easing Russia-Ukraine tension against a taut balance between tight global supplies and recovering fuel demand.

Brent crude futures dropped by 10 cents to $93.19 a barrel at 0253 GMT, having slid 3.3% overnight after Russia announced a partial pullback of its troops near Ukraine.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude also held steady and last traded at $92.13 per barrel at 0247 GMT, after the contract ended Tuesday’s session down 3.6%.

On Tuesday, the Russia defense ministry published footage to show it was returning some troops to base after exercise.

But beyond the Ukraine tension, the oil market remains tight and prices are still on course for a move towards $100 a barrel, according to analysts.

“Technically we could see prices heading back to $90 a barrel on profit-taking, but they will trend higher towards $100 as the economy is getting back on track and more demand is coming through in a tight market,” Reuters cited Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Probis Group, as saying.

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