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Oil prices edge higher with inflation, OPEC cues on tap

Published 27/05/2024, 02:16
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- Oil prices rose slightly in Asian trade on Monday, recovering mildly from steep losses last week as traders awaited more cues on U.S. inflation and a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries this week. 

Still, trading volumes were expected to be limited with market holidays in the U.S. and the UK. 

Brent oil futures expiring in July rose 0.1% to $82.22 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.2% to $77.85 a barrel by 20:41 ET (00:41 GMT). 

Oil nurses weekly losses, inflation cues awaited 

Both contracts were down over 2% each last week after sinking to February lows, as fears of high for longer interest rates drove up concerns over demand. 

Focus this week is on more cues on inflation, specifically from PCE price index data, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge. 

A string of warnings from Fed officials on sticky inflation had rattled oil prices last week, as traders steadily priced out expectations of interest rate cuts this year. 

Markets fear that high rates will stymie economic activity and in turn dent crude demand in the coming months. 

Data showing an unexpected build in U.S. inventories had also weighed on crude, although demand in the world’s biggest fuel consumer is set to pick up with the travel-heavy summer season. 

OPEC+ meeting awaited for more supply cues

Oil markets were also anticipating a meeting of the OPEC+ on June 2, where the producer group is expected to decide whether it will extend its ongoing production cuts past an end-June deadline. 

 Extended production cuts and a potential improvement in demand could spell tighter oil markets in the near-term, which bodes well for prices. The OPEC’s production cuts were aimed chiefly at supporting crude prices over the past year.

The OPEC expects demand to improve by 2.25 million barrels per day this year, while the International Energy Agency expects weaker demand growth, at 1.2 million bpd.

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