Oil prices rose on March 30 as expectations the debt ceiling deal in the U.S., the world's biggest oil user, will spur more demand, but fears of further interest rate rises and that OPEC+ will leave output quotas unchanged capped gains.
Brent crude futures climbed 35 cents, or 0.5%, to $77.42/bbl by 0145 GMT after gaining 12 cents on May 29.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 53 cents to $73.20/bbl, up 0.7% from May 26's close. There was no settlement on May 29 because of a U.S. public holiday.
While the debt ceiling deal has spurred buying in riskier assets such as commodities, major oil producers will meet on June 4, and it is unclear whether they might increase their output cuts amid an overall slump in prices since the middle of April. Additionally, expectations are for U.S. interest rates to rise further, potentially crimping economic growth and therefore oil demand.
"Investors have shifted their attention to the outcome of the OPEC+ meeting this weekend as there have been mixed messages from major oil producers," said Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at Fujitomi Securities Co. Ltd.
"A U.S. debt ceiling deal boosted risk appetite, but investors are reluctant to step up buying amid worries over inflation and potential further increases of interest rates," he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden and House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend forged an agreement to suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling and cap government spending for the next two years.
Both leaders expressed confidence that both Democratic and Republican lawmakers will support the deal. The U.S. House Rules Committee said it will meet on May 30 afternoon to discuss the debt ceiling bill, which needs to pass a divided Congress before June 5.
Investors are also closely watching whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, will change their output quotas.
Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman last week warned short-sellers betting that oil prices will fall to "watch out," in a possible signal that OPEC+ may further cut output.
However, comments from Russian oil officials and sources, including Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, indicate the world's third-largest oil producer is leaning toward leaving output unchanged.
In April, Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC+ announced further oil output cuts of around 1.2 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d), bringing the total volume of cuts by OPEC+ to MMbbl/d according to Reuters calculations.
2023-07-14 - Global benchmark Brent crude hovered above $81/bbl on July 14, with bullish sentiment over U.S. demand bolstered by supply disruption in Libya and Nigeria.
2023-08-14 - Stratas Advisors expects that oil prices will moderate in fourth quarter 2023 after the increase in prices in third quarter 2023.
2023-09-18 - Concerns about the global economy will be a counterforce on oil prices, says Stratas Advisors' John Paisie.
2023-07-17 - The volumes are significantly higher than the average in the first five months of the year, when China imported 3.02 million metric tons of Brazilian crude.
2023-07-10 - Brent crude futures fell by $0.73 to $77.74 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude fell by a similar amount to $73.14 per barrel.