Oil prices recoup weekly losses on the prospect of tighter supply

10:43 24 February in Latest News

Oil prices recoup weekly losses on the prospect of tighter supply



Oil prices rose on Friday and were close to trading positive for the week as the prospect of deeper-than-expected cuts in Russian supplies largely offset concerns that rising interest rates will dampen demand this year.

Crude prices marked a strong recovery from recent losses on Thursday as a Reuters report suggested that Russia plans to cut up to 25% of oil exports from its western ports in March, which is more than the 500,000 barrel per day supply cut announced earlier.

Brent oil futures rose 0.3% to $82.75 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 0.8% to $75.97 a barrel by 21:06 ET (02:06 GMT). Both contracts were trading down less than 0.5% each for the week, having largely trimmed their initial losses.

The prospect of deeper Russian supply cuts also helped markets look past a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories, which grew for a ninth consecutive week amid slowing consumption in the country.

Fears of a further slowdown in crude demand weighed on oil prices this week, amid a flurry of hawkish signals and economic data. Signs of resilience in the U.S. jobs market, coupled with high inflation readings for January and the fourth quarter bolstered the Fed’s hawkish stance.

Strength in the dollar also weighed on crude markets, given that a stronger greenback makes oil more expensive for international buyers.

Focus is now on a reading on the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index – the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge – for more cues on monetary policy. The reading is expected to reiterate that inflation remained elevated through January.

Fourth-quarter U.S. GDP data was revised lower on Thursday, indicating that rising interest rates may have had a deeper-than-expected impact on the U.S. economy so far. While slowing growth bodes poorly for crude demand, it could also reduce the economic headroom the Fed has to keep raising rates.

High inflation readings from Singapore, the euro zone, and Japan this week also raised concerns over tightening monetary conditions in the rest of the globe. Oil prices are trading lower for the year amid persistent fears of a global recession this year.

Still, oil bulls are holding out for a recovery in Chinese demand after the world’s largest oil importer relaxed most anti-COVID measures earlier this year.

But early economic indicators from the country show that parts of the economy are still struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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