Business News Asia
Crude oil futures rose more than 3% on Wednesday (March 30) after U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected last week as investors watch the results of today’s OPEC and OPEC+ meeting.
- WTI crude futures were up $3.58, or 3.4%, at $107.82 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were up $3.22, or 2.9%, at $113.45 a barrel.
Crude oil futures rose after the EIA reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.4 million barrels last week. Previously, analysts had expected a decline of only 1.7 million barrels in a survey by S&P Global Platts.
EIA also reported that crude oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery center for U.S. crude oil futures, decreased by 1 million barrels, gasoline inventories increased by 800,000 barrels, and distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, increased by 1.4 million barrels last week.
The oil market was also positively influenced by the uncertainty of whether the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine will be successful. Russian troops shelled the outskirts of Kiev and Chernihiv with artillery yesterday. Russia had pledged as recently as Tuesday to limit military operations around Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.
Investors are looking ahead to today’s OPEC+ meeting. OPEC+ is expected to stick to the original agreement and slightly increase oil production in May.
So far, OPEC+ has increased oil production by only 400,000 barrels per day every month since August 2021. OPEC+ agreed last year to increase oil production by 432,000 barrels per day in May this year.
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Thursday, March 31, 2022