Oil Extends Decline for Fourth Session on Hawkish Fed Outlook

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Railway wagons for oil and fuel at the marshalling yard in Batumi, Georgia, on Friday, May 10, 2024. Georgia's president warned the country may lose its chance to join the European Union if the government pushes ahead with a controversial “foreign agent” law in the face of huge protests. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Oil extended losses after closing at the lowest level in three months on Wednesday on signs the Federal Reserve may hold interest rates higher for longer, which could weigh on energy demand.

Brent fell for a fourth session toward $81 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate slid close to $77. Fed minutes from a meeting earlier this month indicated a hawkish stance from officials. That adds another bearish element to an oil market showing signs of weakness ahead of an OPEC+ gathering.

Oil is still higher this year in part due to supply cuts from the producer group, although prices have eased since mid-April. US crude stockpiles rose last week, while inventories at the storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, swelled to the highest level since July, according to government data. 


“Oil is overall in a bearish momentum,” said Gao Mingyu, Beijing-based chief energy analyst at SDIC Essence Futures Co. “The biggest focus is still whether voluntary production cuts will be prolonged at the OPEC+ meeting.”

The cartel is scheduled to meet on June 1 and the group is largely expected to extend its current output cuts. Alliance member Russia exceeded its production commitment in April and has pledged to make up for the extra supply, the nation’s Energy Ministry said Thursday.

Market measures that are flashing signs of weakness include the prompt spread for Brent, which is close to a bearish contango structure. That would indicate ample supply. Money managers have also trimmed their bets on rising prices.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Bloomberg News


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