Salem Radio Network News Friday, June 2, 2023


Oil rises as investors await OPEC+ decision

By Noah Browning

LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices rose on Thursday as investors awaited an OPEC+ decision on supply policy amid fears that the Omicron coronavirus variant could hit fuel demand.

Brent crude futures rose 26 cents, or 0.4%, to $69.13 a barrel by 1315 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 25 cents, or 0.4%, to $65.82.

Global oil prices have lost more than $10 a barrel since last Thursday, when news of Omicron first shook investors.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, are likely to decide on Thursday whether to release more oil into the market as previously planned or to restrain supply.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 1300 GMT.

Since August the group has been adding an additional 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of output to global supply each month, gradually winding down record cuts agreed in 2020.

OPEC and its allies are likely to stick to existing policy on raising output despite considering other options, sources said on Thursday.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, said he believes that the collapse in oil prices and uncertainties surrounding Omicron will prompt OPEC+ to call a temporary halt to production increases.

“That may restore a modicum of stability to oil markets,” he added.

Fears over the impact of the Omicron variant rose after the first case was reported in the United States.

U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk said President Joe Biden’s administration could adjust the timing of its planned release of strategic crude oil stockpiles if global energy prices drop substantially.

Gains in oil markets on Thursday were capped as weekly U.S. inventory data showed that U.S. crude stocks fell less than expected last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose much more than expected while demand weakened. [EIA/S]

(Additional reporting by Yuka ObayashiEditing by David Goodman)


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