Oil prices remained highly volatile as traders’ expectations quickly shifted between economic outlook and monetary policy expectations with supply and demand forecasts coming under pressure. While the market has been able to rebound from this year’s low to a certain extent it continued to trend in a range for the last couple of weeks. By Ahmed Negm, Head of Market Research MENA at XS.com.

The Saudi decision to cut production levels has affected the direction of the market and could support higher prices while OPEC’s policy could remain restrictive overall, however, its impact was moderated by economic doubts as well as Russian oil outflows. However, the organization’s policy could continue to squeeze supply levels at a time when demand could continue to grow, in particular during the summer months.

While Japanese economic growth was stronger than forecast and could lift demand, European growth was lower than expected and Chinese data continued to miss estimates and could affect overall consumption outlook. Rising interest rates have been weighing on European economies.

In this regard, traders’ attention could be directed toward the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank as they could monitor their next meetings for any clues over new developments in their respective monetary policies. Both central banks are poised to announce their decision regarding interest rates next week. While the Federal Reserve is expected to pause its interest rate hikes, providing some relief to the US economy and a potential boost in US oil demand, the ECB could tighten its policy further and dampen demand and consumption in the region.

At the same time, traders could monitor new Chinese data and any efforts from the Chinese government to boost the economy. Additionally, demand for refined products in China and the US could also help support oil prices during the next few weeks during summer.