WTI crude futures rose toward $74 per barrel on Thursday

WTI crude futures rose toward $74 per barrel on Thursday after losing nearly 10% over the past two sessions, as investors continued to assess the global demand outlook. The US oil benchmark suffered heavy losses in the first two trading sessions of the year as a surge in Covid cases in top crude importer China clouded the near-term outlook, prompting officials to raise export quotas for refined oil products in the first batch for 2023. The US Federal Reserve also reaffirmed its commitment to bring down inflation and signaled that it would not be easing or cutting rates anytime this year, fueling concerns of a looming recession in the US. Meanwhile, an industry report showed that US crude inventories expanded by 3.3 million barrels last week, reversing from two straight weeks of declines. Elsewhere, OPEC crude production rose in December, led by a recovery in Nigerian supply, despite the cartel's agreement to cut output to support the market

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