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Oil Edges Higher With Energy Shortages Boosting Winter Demand

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Oil Edges Higher With Energy Shortages Boosting Winter Demand
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(Bloomberg) -- Oil futures in New York rose for the fourth straight day in choppy trade as investors assessed how a global power crisis will affect demand this winter.

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Futures in New York rose 0.2% on Tuesday. Shortages of natural gas and coal ahead of winter in the Northern Hemisphere have prompted some switching fuels such as diesel and fuel oil in the power sector. Meanwhile, rising costs for food and fuel were among the reasons the International Monetary Fund cited as it expressed concern the global economic recovery has lost momentum.

“We don’t have a playbook for what happens when natural gas prices in Europe go to the equivalent to $250-a-barrel in crude,” said Rebecca Babin, senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth Management. “The market’s trying to calibrate this new energy situation.”

Tuesday’s volatility comes as oil prices stabilize in the $80-a-barrel range. Caution from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in restoring supply has pushed prices higher along with fuel switching. UBS Group AG raised its estimates for oil in both New York and London because of stronger demand from the power sector and reviving U.S. jet fuel consumption.

However, the IMF warned threats to growth have increased, pointing to the delta variant, strained supply chains, accelerating inflation and rising costs for food and fuel.

“There’s real damage that’s potentially lurking from the supply chain issues,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC. “It’s a real potential negative for the global economy.”

Demand for fuel oil is rising in parts of Asia as soaring natural gas prices prompt switching to one of the most polluting forms of energy, according to TotalEnergies SE.

“What’s going on with gas may worry some Asian countries with emerging economies,” TotalEnergies Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said Tuesday during the Evolen conference in Paris. “Some Asian countries are currently coming back to fuel oil, which may have an impact on the oil market.”

Still, the pace of oil’s surge, combined with rising prices of other energy commodities and metals is bringing on inflation and threatening to hit economies reviving from the pandemic slump. Industries in Europe are being forced to crimp or shut operations. That, in turn, could weigh on oil demand.

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