Oil prices stabilize after falling on signs US may release more reserves

Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing Oil Hub in Cushing, Oklahoma on March 24, 2016. REUTERS / Nick Oxford

  • Inflation data bolsters expectations for Fed action
  • Biden: White House focuses on reducing energy costs
  • U.S. crude inventories are rising, fuel inventories are falling

SINGAPORE, Nov. 11 (Reuters) – Oil prices were flat on Thursday after falling in the previous session amid concerns over rising inflation in the United States, spurred by rising costs of energy, could encourage the government to release more strategic crude stocks to lower prices.

On Wednesday, Brent crude futures fell 2.5% and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell 3.3% after US inflation rose at the fastest rate in 30 years has pushed the dollar higher and stocks of crude in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, have risen after the government released strategic reserves.

Brent crude futures were up 18 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 82.82 a barrel at 0156 GMT, while WTI futures were up 17 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 81.51.

Consumer inflation data on Wednesday showed US prices were rising at a rate of 6.2% year-on-year. The dollar gained on expectations that actions by the White House and the US Federal Reserve to curb price increases could lead to higher interest rates and tighter monetary policy. Oil is generally traded inversely to the dollar. Read more

US President Joe Biden said he asked the National Economic Council to work to cut energy costs and the Federal Trade Commission to push back on market manipulation in the energy sector to reverse inflation .

Some of the efforts to reduce energy costs could include releasing more crude from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

“The United States has also increased pressure on the oil markets, with President Biden asking his economic advisers to explore ways to lower energy prices,” ANZ bank analysts said in a note Thursday. .

“There is growing speculation that the United States may coordinate inventory releases with other countries, such as Japan.”

Inventories of US crude rose last week thanks to the injection of SPR while stocks of gasoline and distillates such as diesel fell further, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose 1 million barrels in the week to November 5, compared to analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.1 million barrels.

SPR’s release was 3.1 million barrels, the largest since July 2017.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Edited by Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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