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Supply Becomes a Downward Risk for Oil Prices Despite OPEC+ Cuts

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This week's crude oil price movements have been significantly influenced by various economic indicators and central bank policies. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, showed January inflation aligning with expectations, keeping the possibility of a June interest rate cut in play.

Despite mixed economic data supporting potential rate cuts, these adjustments are likely due to the slowing economy, affecting oil demand. Earlier reports on U.S. consumer and producer prices in February indicated persistent inflation, leading investors to revise their expectations for a rate cut from March to June.

In Europe, inflation in the Eurozone dipped, strengthening the case for the European Central Bank (ECB) to start easing interest rates later this year. High interest rates in major Western economies aim to curb inflation but may restrain economic growth and oil demand.

Supply Trends

On the supply side, U.S. crude inventories have seen a consistent increase, with a significant rise of 4.2 million barrels this week, surpassing forecasts. This build in inventories suggests a potential for oversupply in the market.

The OPEC+ producer group is considering extending voluntary oil output cuts, which could support prices. However, a Reuters survey indicated an increase in OPEC's output, with Libyan production rising notably. These developments suggest a more relaxed supply situation, potentially…





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