June 19, 2024

Transportation News Daily

Daily Transportation News

Oil prices rise, heading for first positive week in two months on Fed cheer

2 min read

Oil prices rose Friday, heading towards their first weekly gain in two months on optimism over potential interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve boosting U.S. demand and a positive outlook from the International Energy Agency.

By 08:55 ET (13.55 GMT), the U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher at $72.09 a barrel and the Brent contract climbed 0.6% to $77.10 a barrel.

Both benchmarks are on track for gains of around 1% this week, breaking a run of seven consecutive losing weeks.

Dovish Fed boosts sentiment

Dovish signals from the Fed have been a key support for commodity markets this week, as the central bank held rates steady in its final meeting for the year and flagged deeper-than-expected rate cuts in 2024.

Lower interest rates spur increased liquidity in markets, improving economic activity and driving up crude demand, particularly as they boost the concept of a soft landing for the U.S. economy, the largest consumer of crude in the world.

Additionally, the Fed’s dovish tone, especially when compared with comments from the likes of the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, has resulted in the dollar falling to four-month lows, benefiting international oil buyers.

Economic data in focus

The crude market has had to cope with mixed economic data Friday.

The HCOB German Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by S&P Global, fell for the sixth consecutive month, indicating that the eurozone’s largest economy could be in recession as the year comes to an end.

That said, data out of China, the largest importer of crude in the world, showed a better-than-expected performance in industrial output and improving retail sales, raising hope that the country’s post-COVID economic recovery may be strengthening.

IEA lifted 2024 oil demand forecast

The International Energy Agency helped the market earlier this week by slightly lifting its oil demand forecast for 2024. But the IEA’s forecast for demand was still much lower than that suggested by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+.

Underwhelming production cuts from the cartel group were a key weight on oil in recent weeks, driving prices to over five-month lows. Even with a positive demand outlook for 2024, crude markets are still expected to remain well supplied.

This was also in part due to strong U.S. production, with recent data showing that total U.S. output remained close to record highs in the past week. U.S. inventories saw a bigger-than-expected drawdown, although fuel demand in the country remained weak, with gasoline inventories seeing a mild build.

Source: Oil prices rise, heading for first positive week in two months on Fed cheer (msn.com)

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