Benchmark oil prices may trade within a tight range this week as participants wait for the outcome of a repeat Greek election on June 17 and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting to decide production policy on Thursday in Vienna, according to CNBC's weekly survey of oil market sentiment.
Out of a total of seven respondents, five - or nearly three-quarters - expect prices to remain steady, with a single bull and a single bear rounding off the survey.
Broadly, the health of Europe's economy and the lingering debt crisis in the region will continue to set the tone for financial markets. Markets are in 'risk-on' mode now - oil prices rallied by more than 2 percent on Monday after the European Union revealed a 100 billion euro ($125 billion) plan to bailout Spain's banks.
But the rally may run out of steam as investors await the Greek election. Still, commodity markets got an additional boost after weekend data from China beat forecasts, allaying fears of a 'hard-landing in the world's second-largest economy. China's crude oil imports in May hit a record 25.48 million tons.
"While there is definitely more potential to move lower than higher...I think that few market participants will have conviction necessary to push or pull prices sharply in either direction ahead of the OPEC meeting on Thursday, which is shaping up to be an important but contentious one, and the Greek elections over that weekend," Justin Honrath, Commodity Analyst at CPM Group told CNBC. "It is more likely that they adopt a 'wait-and-see' approach before re-entering the market."
By CNBC's Sri Jegarajah
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