Crude Oil Prices Surge High, After Lower Russian Exports.

BEIJING:  Crude oil prices gained for a second session on Friday as rising US inventories outweighed the possibility of lower Russian exports.

By 0215 GMT, Brent crude futures had climbed 61 cents, or 0.7%, to $82.82 per barrel. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) increased by 0.8%, or 63 cents, to $76.02.

Due to Russia’s plans to reduce oil exports from its western ports by up to 25% in March, which exceeded its previously announced production cuts of 500,000 barrels per day, both benchmarks ended Thursday about 2% higher.

ANZ analysts wrote in a note that these reports lifted supply-side sentiment despite the rise in oil prices.

Concerns about rising interest rates, which could strengthen the dollar, as well as the ninth consecutive week of a build in US crude stocks have pushed oil prices slightly lower for the week after the previous week’s declines of approximately 4%.

According to the minutes of the most recent meeting of the US Federal Reserve, the majority of officials remained hawkish regarding inflation and tight labor market conditions, indicating additional monetary tightening.

The dollar index, which was set for a fourth week in a row of gains, was supported by the possibility of additional rate hikes. For the month, the index is currently up about 2.5%.

For holders of other currencies, a firm dollar makes commodities priced in the greenback more expensive.

According to OANDA analyst Edward Moya, “the focus as we close the week will be on what happens with the next inflation report, will the market get more nervous on even more tightening from the Fed?”

A rise in US crude inventories to their highest level since May 2021 has also put pressure on oil, as refiners used less oil during a busy maintenance season.

According to data provided by the US Energy Information Administration, crude inventories increased by 7.6 million barrels to approximately 479 million barrels.

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