By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com — Oil prices were mixed on Monday in a day of volatile trading, as investors eyed both tightening supply and fears over how a potential slowdown in global growth may hit demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were slightly higher by 0.17% at $108.16 a barrel as of 07:01 a.m. ET (1101 GMT). Futures for – the international benchmark – dipped by 0.13% to $112.97 a barrel.
Concerns over the global oil supply have mounted after many Western countries cut off access to key Russian exports in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Officials in Libya have also given mixed signals about the state of the country’s oil production following protests that closed down local ports and facilities. Libya’s oil minister told Reuters on Monday that output is holding up at around 700,000 barrels per day, amending a previous warning from the ministry that production was falling to 100,000 barrels per day.
Meanwhile, Chinese customs data released on Saturday showed a 46% fall in gasoline exports in May compared to the previous year, as well as a 96% slide in diesel exports.
The U.S. has recently moved to counter these risks to the oil supply by opening up its strategic petroleum reserves, while OPEC – a group of major oil exporters – and its allies have also scaled up production.
Oil prices have touched near-record levels in the past six months, contributing to soaring inflation in countries around the world. Central banks have hiked interest rates in a bid to bring prices down, but worries remain that these aggressive moves could spark a wider economic downturn that may weigh on oil consumption.