Oil prices rose slightly in early Asian trading on Thursday, as markets weighed bullish U.S. inventory data on Wednesday and a likely extension of OPEC+ output cuts against the fallout of Fitch’s downgrade of the U.S. government’s top credit.
Brent crude futures rose 27 cents, or 0.32%, to $83.47 a barrel by 0001 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 29 cents, or 0.36%, to $79.78 a barrel.
Both benchmarks had been trading at near their highest levels since April on Wednesday, but closed down 2% amid risk-off investor sentiment following the ratings downgrade.
On Tuesday, ratings agency Fitch downgraded the U.S.’s long-term foreign currency ratings to AA+ from AAA, reflecting expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years as well as concerns over a high and growing general government debt burden, political polarisation and the international status of the U.S. dollar.
Wall Street’s three main indexes closed lower and Treasury yields rose on Wednesday as uncertainty rippled through financial markets.
Despite the broader bearish sentiment, prices continue to see support from a tightening supply backdrop.