Brent crude oil prices steadied as Saudi Arabia cut oil supply to offset price pressures from fuel demand.

The stalled roll-out of vaccines and the emergence of highly contagious strains of Covid-19 has raised concerns over global fuel demand.

Brent crude futures rose by $0.04, or 0.1%, to reach $55.57 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped by $0.07 to reach $52.52 a barrel, reported Reuters .

CMC Markets chief strategist Michael McCarthy said was cited by the news agency as saying: “We’re waiting for the next shoe to drop in the oil market. We really don’t have much to move us around.

“Even the currency effects that have been an occasional driver of the market have dried up with the US dollar also very stable at current levels.”

Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar was reported by Reuters as saying that Saudi Arabia’s oil supply cut would result in increased OPEC+ supply cuts from 7.2 million bpd in January to 8.125 million bpd in February.

The news agency reported OANDA analyst Edward Moya as saying: “The OPEC+ production strategy is still working and hopes are high we will get J&J’s vaccine approved sometime next week.”

The estimated small reduction in the US oil production in February and the drawdown in the US oil inventories to 9.9 million barrels last week are also helping to support the fuel market.