• Oil was steady after a two-day gain with the markets weighing geopolitical risk in the Middle East against a report showing stockpiles expanding in the US.
  • West Texas Intermediate traded above $73 a barrel after climbing 1.4% over the previous two sessions, while global benchmark Brent closed near $79 on Tuesday. The Houthis said they targeted two ships in the southern Red Sea, the latest in a string of attacks that has forced a major re-routing of global trade. The US has vowed more strikes against Iranian forces and
    their proxies.
  • Crude is only slightly higher than it was at the start of the year, with the Middle East war premium and rising transport costs being largely canceled out by a shaky macroeconomic outlook and strong supply. That’s belying a boom in oil derivatives, however, with aggregate open interest across the main futures contracts rising to the highest since March 2022.