Home Investing News Oil prices tick higher on US inventory draw; Fed, CPI awaited

Oil prices tick higher on US inventory draw; Fed, CPI awaited


Investing.com– Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Wednesday, extending gains after industry data showed U.S. inventories shrank more than expected in the past week.

Still, gains in crude were limited by anticipation of key U.S. inflation data and the conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting- both due later in the day. 

Brent oil futures expiring in August rose 0.2% to $82.09 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.3% to $77.79 a barrel by 20:53 ET (00:53 GMT). 

US inventories see bigger-than-expected draw- API

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on late-Tuesday that U.S. oil inventories shrank more than expected in the week to June 7.

Inventories saw a draw of 2.4 million barrels (mb), more than expectations for a draw of 1.8 mb and reversing course from the 4 mb build seen last week.

Gasoline inventories saw a draw, while distillates rose slightly. 

Still, the data ramped up hopes that U.S. fuel consumption was picking up with the onset of the travel-heavy summer season. Inventory data over the past two weeks had pointed to a somewhat sluggish start to the season.

The API data usually heralds a similar reading from official inventory data, which is due later on Wednesday. 

Fed meeting, CPI data on tap 

Gains in oil prices were limited before the conclusion of a two-day Fed meeting on Wednesday. 

While the central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady, any comments on  the path of interest rates, particularly future cuts, will be in close focus. 

Markets were cheerful over rate cuts after several major central banks, chiefly the European Central Bank, cut rates earlier in June. 

But before Wednesday’s rate decision, key U.S. consumer price index inflation data is also on tap. 

The reading is expected to show inflation remained sticky in May- a scenario that gives the Fed less impetus to begin trimming rates. Recent signs of U.S. labor market strength and sticky inflation pointed to rates remaining high for longer- a scenario that bodes poorly for global economic growth and potentially oil demand. 

OPEC maintains demand forecast, IEA report awaited 

Oil prices were also somewhat encouraged by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintaining its outlook for strong global oil demand in 2024. The cartel said in its monthly report that its recent decision to maintain its output curbs presented the possibility of a supply deficit in the third quarter.

Focus was now on a monthly report from the International Energy Agency, which has so far maintained a much more conservative outlook on demand.

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