WTI crude oil futures rose more than 1.5 percent on Wednesday to over $116.5 a barrel, marking the sixth consecutive month of gains. The EU's decision to partially ban Russian oil sales and China's reopening after the lockdown may more than offset reports that OPEC may suspend Russia from the production agreement.
Reports emerged yesterday that some producers are considering suspending Russia's participation in the OPEC+ production agreement, which could pave the way for other producers to pump more oil to markets, and that some Gulf members are planning to increase production over the next few months. Investors await weekly US crude inventories data, with markets expecting US crude inventories to have fallen last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose.
The price of crude oil in global markets appears to be fluctuating widely. Yesterday, three-month peaks were established, with a barrel of WTI already costing over $118. Later in the day, prices sharply turned back below $113. As a result, oil price volatility may still remain relatively high. Meanwhile, in the real economy, this could mean high fuel prices. We are feeling this in Poland, but Americans are also feeling it. The price of gasoline there has soared to its highest level ever at USD 4.2 per gallon.
More expensive fuels are one of the main components of rising consumer inflation, and at the same time a factor for decreasing demand in other categories. The more we spend on fuel because we need to get to work, for example, the less we spend in terms of unnecessary needs, recreation or entertainment. This, in turn, is a ready recipe for an economic slowdown, which the financial markets seem to have been pricing for quite some time now.
Daniel Kostecki, Director of the Polish branch of Conotoxia Ltd. (Forex service)
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