Oil prices were steady on Thursday after steep losses in the previous two sessions, as investors returned their focus to tight supply even as fears of a global recession persisted.

Brent crude futures rose 14 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $100.83 a barrel by 0900 GMT. WTI crude futures climbed 21 cents, or 0.2pc, to $98.74 a barrel.

Prices swung between about $2 in losses and gains of nearly $1 in volatile trade.

“Recession fears continue to grow and that obviously does raise some concerns for the demand outlook,” said Warren Patterson, ING's head of commodity research.

“However, supportive fundamentals should mean that further downside is relatively limited.”

He added that it's hard to be overly bearish on oil prices as the Brent monthly spreads remain in wide backwardation, referring to prompt-month prices trading higher than those for future months.

“Recent Iranian nuclear talks don't appear to have achieved much”, Patterson added, after Washington tightened sanctions on Iran on Wednesday, pressuring Tehran as it seeks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

In recent weeks oil prices have slid, fanning fears of a sharp economic slowdown and a hit to demand for commodities.

Brent and WTI closed on Wednesday at their lowest since April 11. The declines follow a dramatic fall on Tuesday when WTI slid 8pc while Brent tumbled 9pc — a $10.73 drop that was the third biggest for the contract since it started trading in 1988.

“If the forecasted recession is not severe, the crude price should remain in the $100/bbl range for the next 2-3 years,” said Fereidun Fesharaki of consultancy FGE.

Traders are watching for possible oil supply disruptions at the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), which has been told by a Russian court to suspend activity for 30 days. Exports at CPC, which handles about 1pc of global oil supplies, were still flowing as of Wednesday morning.

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Untruths and politics
Updated 01 Oct, 2022

Untruths and politics

It would arguably be in the national interest for the Supreme Court to take up the cipher and settle the matter.
Farmers’ protest
01 Oct, 2022

Farmers’ protest

SEVERAL hundred farmers have converged on Islamabad for the last three days to protest against the soaring costs of...
Dasht-i-Barchi bombing
01 Oct, 2022

Dasht-i-Barchi bombing

ON Friday morning, Kabul’s Dasht-i-Barchi neighbourhood was rocked by a terrorist attack targeting an educational...
Avenfield relief
Updated 30 Sep, 2022

Avenfield relief

Accountability cannot continue to be treated like a revolving door in which politicians can be shoved in or pulled out on a whim.
Dar’s plans
Updated 30 Sep, 2022

Dar’s plans

For starters, the country doesn’t have spare dollars to burn.
Another targeted attack
30 Sep, 2022

Another targeted attack

WEDNESDAY’S deadly attack on three Chinese-origin individuals in Karachi’s Saddar area demonstrates the threat...