Oil Futures Rebound as Dollar Declines and Equities Advance

Oil rose after its first drop in three sessions as the dollar weakened and financial markets strengthened.

(Bloomberg) — Oil rose after its first drop in three sessions as the dollar weakened and financial markets strengthened.

West Texas Intermediate futures traded above $73 a barrel after closing 0.3% lower on Wednesday. The dollar fell and European stocks and US equity futures climbed as broader markets bet that a peak in interest rates is near and that turmoil in the banking sector will continue to ease. A softer dollar makes commodities priced in the US currency more attractive.

Crude futures also have been supported this week by a dispute involving Iraqi, Turkish and Kurdish authorities that halted about 400,000 barrels a day of exports from the Ceyhan port. 

On Wednesday, US government data showed crude inventories shrank the most this year last week, though demand for distillates continued to languish at the lowest seasonal level since 2016, a sign of a lackluster economy.

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The equity market rally indicates that “the market’s current thinking is that the banking crisis is not systemic, which is supportive for oil,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. “The Kurdish situation – halting the crude exports – is also supportive on the supply side.”

Most market watchers are still betting on China’s recovery underpinning a price rally later this year, and comments from two of the nation’s oil majors painted an optimistic outlook. PetroChina and Cnooc Ltd. said a rebounding domestic economy can help cushion the impact of slower global growth.

Still, WTI remains on track for its fifth monthly decline in the wake of the banking crisis, concerns over potential recessions and resilient Russian output. 

Russia moved to underpin the diversion of its crude cargoes to Asia from Europe by agreeing a long-term boost for oil sales to India. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has expressed concern over current cover available for the country’s seaborne exports, highlighting the importance of creating new systems of insurance and reinsurance. 

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–With assistance from Alex Longley.

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