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Apr 2, 2024

Oil price news: Oil climbs toward US$90 as OPEC+ sticks with cuts and U.S. data due

Momentum in energy to continue, oil could reach US$90-100/bbl: strategist

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(Bloomberg) -- Oil edged higher, extending a rally that has brought prices to a five-month high, after OPEC+ ministers affirmed current supply cuts.

Brent rose to within one cent of the $90-a-barrel psychological level on Wednesday after OPEC and its allies didn’t recommend any changes to their existing output cuts at an online ministerial review meeting. The move means roughly 2 million barrels a day of curbs will be in place until the end of June.

In the US, a government report showed nationwide crude stockpiles rose 3.21 million barrels last week, contrasting with an industry group’s projection of a drop in inventories. The official US figures showed a decline in gasoline stockpiles.

Still, bullishness is showing up beyond front-month futures prices, with oil options traders increasingly looking to protect against rising prices. Brent’s second-month options skew has flipped from its usual put skew — favored by producers seeking to protect against price drops — to a bias toward calls. That comes as timespreads move further into backwardation, another indicator of strength.

Crude has pushed higher this year, with Ukrainian attacks on Russian energy infrastructure and Middle East tensions supporting prices. OPEC+’s curbs have been tightening the market, while there have been patches of disruption elsewhere, including an early-year deep freeze in the US and a recent curb to exports by Mexico.

However, the recent surge in prices is already drawing the ire of major consumers. A top Indian oil official said on Wednesday that the recent gain was causing anxiety and that companies would have to act if higher prices are sustained. 

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