Cruide Oil Futures rose over 1 percent after US dollar slid

Oil rises over 1% after US data weighs on dollar

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose over 1% on Thursday after US retail data prompted a sell-off in the dollar, though investors eyed an International Energy Agency (IEA) report that flagged slowing demand growth this year.

Brent crude futures settled up US$1.26, or 1.5%, at US$82.86 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose US$1.39, or 1.8%, to US$78.03.

The US dollar index slid about 0.3% after data showed US retail sales fell more than expected in January. A weaker dollar usually boosts oil prices as it makes the commodity cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Retail sales dropped 0.8% last month, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau said on Thursday. Data for December was revised lower to show sales rising 0.4% instead of 0.6%, as previously reported.

The data prompted optimism around interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve going forward, which could be positive for oil demand.

"Rate cuts are back on the table and that's giving us a bit of a boost," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.


Further oil price gains were limited, though, by an IEA report on Thursday which said that global oil demand is losing momentum, prompting the agency to trim its 2024 growth forecast to 1.22 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.24 million bpd.

On the supply side, the IEA estimated that supply will grow by 1.7 million bpd this year, up from its previous forecast of 1.5 million bpd.

Both oil benchmark contracts lost more than US$1 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by the rise in US crude inventories as refining dropped to its lowest levels since December 2022.

News that two major economies began recessions also weighed on prices.

Britain fell into recession in the second half of 2023 when its gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3% in the fourth quarter, having shrunk by 0.1% in the third quarter, official data showed.

Japan unexpectedly slipped into recession at the end of last year, surrendering its title as the world's third-biggest economy to Germany. — Reuters

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Posted on 16-Feb-2024