Oil’s rally continued to cool with investors in search of a new catalyst to support more buying. 

While some physical crude cargoes are commanding hefty premiums and prompt time-spreads are at the widest in a year — signaling supply scarcity — macro headwinds are capping gains. The U.S. dollar has surged to an eight-month high, diminishing the appeal of commodities priced in the currency, and rate-hike expectations are fueling risk-off sentiment across markets. 

Still, oil has added about 25 per cent since June and is heading for the biggest quarterly gain since March 2022 on supply curbs by OPEC+ leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia. The rally led hedge funds to boost their bullish bets on WTI to the highest since February 2022 and has rekindled talk of the US$100-a-barrel crude.

Traders are looking to China now for signs of surging demand as the world’s top oil importer gears up for the Golden Week holiday from Friday. More than 21 million people are expected to fly during the eight-day holiday, following record air-passenger traffic in July and August that has stoked oil consumption.


  • West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 35 cents to settle at settled at $89.68 a barrel in New York.
  • Brent for November settlement edged higher 2 cents to settle at $93.29 a barrel.