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Oil prices rise on US inventories drawdown expectations, CPI focus

In Technology
May 15, 2024

By Emily Chow

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Wednesday on expectations for higher demand as the U.S. dollar weakened and a report showed U.S. crude and gasoline inventories fell while the release of inflation data may point to a more supportive economic outlook.

Brent crude futures were up 51 cents, or 0.6%, at $82.89 a barrel at 0630 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) rose 55 cents, or 0.7%, to $78.57 a barrel.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell 3.104 million barrels in the week ended May 10, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday. Gasoline inventories fell by 1.269 million barrels and distillates rose by 673,000 barrels.

U.S. government inventory data is due later on Wednesday and are likely to also show a drop in crude stockpiles as refineries increase their runs to meet increased fuel demand heading into the peak summer driving season.

“Expectations of another drawdown in U.S. oil inventories should support oil prices,” ANZ Research said in a note.

U.S. consumer price index (CPI) data is also due on Wednesday and should give a clearer indication whether the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates later this year, which could spur the economy and boost fuel demand.

Oil prices also found support from a softer U.S. dollar and stimulus measures from China, said independent market analyst Tina Teng, with a weaker greenback making dollar-denominated oil cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

Teng was referring to China’s plans to raise 1 trillion yuan ($138.39 billion) in long-term special treasury bonds this week to raise funds to stimulate key sectors of its flagging economy, which is the world’s largest oil importer.

“The U.S. CPI and China’s economic data are key to driving oil prices for the rest of the week,” she added. China will release economic activity data on Friday.

Prices were also supported by concerns around Canadian oil supply, a key exporter to the U.S.

A large wildfire is approaching Fort McMurray, the hub for Canada’s oil sands industry that produces 3.3 million barrels per day of crude, or two-thirds of the country’s total output.

($1 = 7.2260 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova in Tokyo and Emily Chow in Singapore; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Christopher Cushing)

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