Key points:

  • Oil prices resumed their rise after two days of declines.
  • US oil inventories unexpectedly increased.
  • Forecasts for rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and the ECB may lead to increased demand for oil.

Oil prices resumed growth after a two-day decline. Thus, traders decided to revise the latest data on crude oil and gasoline inventories in the United States.

May Brent crude futures added 40 cents (0.5%) to $86.49 a barrel. More active June futures rose 36 cents (0.4%) to $85.77 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures for May delivery also rose 44 cents (0.5%) to $81.79 a barrel.

Increase in oil reserves

Oil prices have shown positive dynamics for the third month in a row. Compared to the previous month, the increase was about 4.5%.

The day before, oil prices were under pressure caused by an unexpected increase in US crude oil and gasoline inventories. This was facilitated by an increase in oil imports and a decrease in demand for gasoline. However, the increase in inventories turned out to be less than expected, which became one of the factors supporting prices. Thus, SEB Research analysts note that in general there is a slight deficit in the global oil market, which could lead to a further increase in prices for Brent oil.

Additional support for quotes was provided by an increase in US refinery utilization rates by 0.9 percentage points.

Related factors affecting the price of a product

The head of the US Federal Reserve said that recent disappointing inflation data does not allow us to talk about reducing the key rate in the near future, but such a possibility cannot be ruled out in the future.

JPMorgan analysts predict that the Fed and the ECB will begin cutting rates in June. This could lead to increased demand for oil and therefore higher prices.

Next week there will be an OPEC+ meeting to discuss oil production issues. It is expected that there will be no changes in the organization’s policy until June. However, any signals of non-compliance with production quotas could have a negative impact on prices.