Oil Drops as Novak Says OPEC+ to Stand Pat, Dollar Holds Gains

Oil fell as the dollar strengthened and Russia played down the likelihood of OPEC+ cutting production further.

(Bloomberg) — Oil fell as the dollar strengthened and Russia played down the likelihood of OPEC+ cutting production further.

West Texas Intermediate hovered around $73 a barrel, snapping three days of gains that came with falling US crude inventories and a warning from Saudi Arabia that oil market short-sellers should “watch out.”

But the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are unlikely to take any new steps at their first face-to-face meeting in several months in early June after a recent decision to cut output, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Izvestia. A stronger dollar also weighed on oil prices, making commodities priced in the US currency less attractive.

To get Bloomberg’s Energy Daily newsletter direct into your inbox, click here.

Crude futures are down about 9% this year, with China’s muted economic rebound and tighter US monetary policy combining to weigh on prices. Federal Reserve officials are leaning toward pausing interest rate hikes in June, while signaling they’re not yet ready to end their fight against inflation.

The standoff over a US debt deal has also roiled markets in recent weeks. Fitch Ratings placed the country’s AAA credit rating on watch — a sign of growing unease about the nation’s ability to avert a first-ever default — hours after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said there was still time to get an agreement.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher after reaching a two-month high in the previous session.

UBS Group AG expects the oil market to be under-supplied by almost 1.5 million barrels a day in June, with higher demand in the Northern Hemisphere — fueled by the US driving season — and the Middle East.

“We think investors will return to the oil market as larger inventory draws become visible, thus supporting prices,” UBS analyst said in a report. “So, we retain a positive price outlook.”

Meanwhile, Polish refiner PKN Orlen SA said fuels demand has fallen due to an economic slowdown. Citigroup Inc. cast doubt on previous oil demand growth forecasts, saying “multiple signs” suggest it’s unlikely to come close.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.