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Oil up 3% as China delivers rate cut, while world watches Fed

Published Jun 13, 2023 02:03PM ET
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Investing.com -- While the Fed mulls a pause, China delivers a cut. And that’s good enough for an oil market hanging onto Beijing as its biggest buyer.

Crude prices jumped more than 3% Tuesday after China's central bank lowered a short-term lending rate for the first time in 10 months. 

The rally almost recouped losses from Monday’s session which posted a drop of more than 4% driven by recession concerns and talk that oil supplies may be more comfortable than they are made out to be.

Tuesday’s rebound also came as the U.S. Consumer Price Index  grew by 4% in the year to May, expanding at its slowest pace in more than two years, according to Labor Department data that backed the notion that the Federal Reserve was ready to pause on its monetary tightening after 10 hikes that boosted rates by a total of 5%. 

The U.S. central bank is widely expected to announce the rate halt at the conclusion of its June policy meeting on Wednesday.

“Oil prices are staging a comeback today, perhaps buoyed by the softer inflation data which may open the door to the end of the Fed's tightening cycle and enable the soft landing it always hoped for,” Craig Erlam, analyst at online trading platform OANDA, said, adding that “a rate cut in China certainly helps” the case. 

New York-traded WTI crude was down up $2.58, or 3.8%, to $69.70 per barrel by 13:30 ET (17:30 GMT). On Monday, the U.S. crude benchmark settled down 4.4%, extending a prior 3.5% loss over a two-week stretch.

London-traded Brent was off $2.69, or 3.7%, to $74.53 after a drop of nearly 4% in the previous session. The global crude benchmark slumped almost 3% in two weeks prior to that.

The selloff in oil had come despite a widely-publicized production cut by Saudi Arabia a week ago, the latest in three rounds of reductions the kingdom announced since October.

The Saudis need Brent to be at $80 at least (which means WTI has to be at $75 or more, given the minimum $5 premium for the global benchmark). Over the past seven months, the Saudis have offered to take 2.5 million barrels off their regular daily production of 11.5M.

Their move came after their 12 partners in OPEC, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and 10 other allies in the wider OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, decided to stay pat on production.

Despite those production cuts, the oil market has rarely been on the same page with the Saudis over the past seven months. Since October, Brent only briefly crested at nearly $99 before returning towards $70 support on several occasions. WTI’s highest reach was almost $94, versus lows of beneath $64.

Even Wall Street’s biggest bull — Goldman Sachs — cut its forecast for Brent on Monday, announcing a December average of $86 versus a previous $95. For WTI, it called a barrel at $81, down from $89.

Oil up 3% as China delivers rate cut, while world watches Fed
 

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Tom Michaels
Tom Michaels Jun 13, 2023 3:43PM ET
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As the oil scam continues. ....
 
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