Oil prices rise as investors assess U.S. inventory data

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March 28, 2024

11:22 am

Oil prices rise as investors assess U.S. inventory data

Oil prices rose on Thursday as investors reassessed the latest data on US crude and gasoline inventories.
By 0415 GMT, Brent crude futures for May delivery were up 31 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $86.40 a barrel, while more widely traded June futures were up 32 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $85.73. Contracts for May delivery expire on Thursday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for May delivery were up 39 cents, or 0.50 percent, at $81.74 a barrel.
Both crude oil prices are headed for a third straight month of gains, and are up about 4.5 percent from last month.
Crude oil and gasoline inventories rose unexpectedly last week, according to Energy Information Administration data, while oil prices came under pressure in the last session due to a surge in crude imports and a slowdown in gasoline demand.
However, the increase in crude oil inventories fell short of the expectations of the US Petroleum Corporation.
“We expect… U.S. inventories to rise less than usual, a reflection of the global oil market, which is experiencing a small deficit,” Bjarne Schildrup, senior commodities analyst at SEB Research, said in a note. This will support Brent crude oil prices in future.
Prices received support from US refinery run rates, which rose 0.9 percentage points last week.
A member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors said yesterday that disappointing recent inflation data confirms the US central bank's rationale for postponing the target reduction in interest rates in the short term, but he did not rule out cutting interest rates later. year.
“Markets agree that both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will start cutting interest rates in June,” JP Morgan analysts said in a note. Low interest rates support oil demand.
Investors will await indicators from next week's meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee on Production Monitoring of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Analysts at ANZ Research said OPEC+ was unlikely to make any changes to oil production policy until a full ministerial meeting in June.
“Tensions are high in the Middle East because of the lack of a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas,” they added. (Reuters) –

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