Oil Nears $79 on US Decline, OPEC+ Cuts Fuel Rally

Oil prices rise amid OPEC+ output cuts and US inflation data, with market eyes on Fed's rate decisions.

By Athena Xu

5/15, 20:13 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Oil prices rise with WTI nearing $79 and Brent below $83, driven by US stockpile declines and a risk-on market mood.
  • Easing US inflation hints at potential for looser Fed monetary policy, boosting commodities as the dollar weakens.
  • Global oil consumption projected to hit a record high this year despite OPEC+ supply cuts and adjusted demand growth expectations.

OPEC+ Production Cuts in Focus

Oil markets have been closely monitoring the actions of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+. Recent reports indicate that OPEC+ nations have exceeded their quotas in the latest round of output cuts, aiming to prevent a glut and support global prices. This has led to a cautious optimism in the market, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices holding steady above $79 a barrel. The anticipation of whether OPEC+ will extend these supply curbs into the second half of the year is a significant factor influencing market sentiment.

US Inflation and Federal Reserve's Rate Decisions

The release of producer and consumer price data in the United States is highly anticipated, as it could provide insights into the trajectory of inflation. These figures are crucial for the Federal Reserve's interest rate decisions, which have a direct impact on market expectations and oil prices. With inflation data on the horizon, there is speculation that the Fed might adjust interest rates, potentially affecting global oil demand forecasts. Recent indicators have surprised to the upside, pushing expectations for rate cuts possibly into 2025.

Market Dynamics and Price Movements

The oil market is awaiting several key reports and events that could influence price movements in the near term. Among these are the monthly reports from OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA), as well as the U.S. consumer price index for April. Persistent inflation in the U.S. could dampen expectations for Federal Reserve rate cuts. Additionally, geopolitical tensions and changes in trading strategies, such as the notable reduction in net-long positions for Brent and WTI futures, highlight the market's sensitivity to macroeconomic indicators and geopolitical events.