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Friday, 14. June 2024

Oil Steadies Amid OPEC+ Reassurances, But Headed for Weekly Loss

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Oil prices stabilized on Friday, finding some support from indications by OPEC+ members Saudi Arabia and Russia that they are willing to pause or reverse oil output increases. However, despite this brief respite, crude oil was still on track for its third consecutive weekly loss due to persistent concerns about demand.

Market Movement and Factors at Play

  • Weekly Decline: Crude oil experienced a downturn this week following OPEC+’s decision on Sunday to phase out some oil output cuts starting in October. Additionally, rising U.S. inventories fueled concerns about demand, contributing to the overall bearish sentiment in the market.
  • Current Prices: Brent crude futures saw a marginal decline of 11 cents, reaching $79.76 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose slightly by 13 cents to $75.68, as of 0824 GMT.
  • OPEC+ Reassurances: The recent stability in oil prices was partly attributed to reassuring statements from OPEC+ members, which provided some relief to the market.
  • Chinese Data: Data from China showed growth in exports for the second consecutive month in May, but concerns persisted over weak domestic demand as crude oil imports fell. China, being the world’s largest crude oil buyer, significantly influences oil market dynamics.
  • Monetary Policy Actions: The European Central Bank’s decision to proceed with its first interest rate cut since 2019 heightened expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve taking similar measures. Lower interest rates typically stimulate economic growth and, consequently, oil demand.

Focus on U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls Data

  • Upcoming Data Release: Investors are eagerly awaiting the latest U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for May, scheduled for release at 1230 GMT on Friday. This data is expected to provide further insights into the timing of potential rate cuts by the Federal Reserve this year.
  • Economist Expectations: Analysts surveyed by Reuters anticipate an increase of 185,000 jobs in May, following a rise of 175,000 jobs in April. However, this expected gain would be lower than the average of 242,000 jobs seen in the prior three months.

Conclusion

Oil prices found some stability amidst OPEC+ reassurances, but the market remained under pressure due to ongoing demand concerns. Attention is now turned towards the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, which could offer clarity on the Fed’s monetary policy direction and potentially influence oil market dynamics in the near term.

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