Crude erased gains in the morning of the first trading session of 2024 despite mostly bullish news. 

The first US-Yemen naval clash in the Red Sea, followed by the arrival of an Iranian warship into the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, has prompted an increase in geopolitical risks again, lifting Brent back to the $79 per barrel mark. China issuing its crude import quotas for 2024, coupled with product export allowances, will reinvigorate Chinese buying in the markets, so for the first time in several weeks, the immediate outlook seems more bullish than bearish.