Oil futures finished higher Wednesday, with U.S. prices reclaiming less than half of the more than 7% drop suffered in the previous session as worries over the demand outlook, driven by the pandemic, continued to limit crude’s upside potential.
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.29, or 3.5%, to settle at $38.05 a barrel. November Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose $1.01, or 2.5%, to $40.79 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
“The bounce in oil prices reflects the market recovering from the oversold positions” Tuesday, said Manish Raj, chief financial officer at Velandera Energy, “As the flurry of panic-stricken traders was absorbed,” the market was balanced today, leading to a rebound.
However, “this week’s volatility is a reflection of substantial uncertainty in oil demand,” Raj told MarketWatch. “Whereas gasoline demand has staged a handsome V-shaped recovery world-wide, and particularly so in the U.S., distillate and jet fuel demand is elusive to say the least.”