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Oil Gains as Fed Meeting and Trade Talks Buoy Demand Outlook


By Heesu Lee and Grant Smith

(Bloomberg) Oil rose as expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates and the resumption of trade talks between the U.S. and China shored up the outlook for fuel demand.Futures advanced 0.8% in New York, trading above $57 a barrel, after climbing by the most in almost three weeks on Monday. Later this week, the Fed is expected to lower borrowing costs for the first time in more than a decade. Chinese and American negotiators gather for two days of talkson Tuesday, while U.S. government data on Wednesday is forecast to show crude stockpiles fell for a seventh week, by 2.5 million barrels last week in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Oil in New York extends gains after rising 1.8% over the past three sessions

Oil is still on track for a modest monthly decline as concerns about demand weakness overshadow the threat that political tensions in the Persian Gulf will disrupt exports. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference Wednesday will give clues to what’s in store for the rest of the year, possibly determining the fate of many developing economies for the coming months.

“The current situation and the outlook for the oil market aren’t so bad, with tightness likely to persist for the rest of the third quarter,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “The fears of a demand slump were overdone, and the market is now taking a more realistic approach.”

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery rose 46 cents to $57.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:05 a.m. London time. The contract gained 67 cents to close at $56.87 on Monday, climbing 1.8% over the past three sessions.

Brent for September settlement added 57 cents, or 0.9%, to $64.28 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. Prices gained for a third straight day on Monday. The global benchmark crude traded at a $6.94 premium to WTI.

See also: Flurry of Brent Oil Options Bets on Slow Rally Through 2021

Fed Chair Powell and his Federal Open Market Committee colleagues are expected to cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point to bolster growth in the economy.

Oil-market news:
  • BP Plc bucked the trend of disappointing oil and gas earnings, beating expectations and increasing its cash flow as higher production offset the effect of lower energy prices. CEO Bob Dudley said the company is “being extremely careful” around the Strait of Hormuz.
  • U.S. shale oil drillers may finally be on the verge of doing something that investors have longed to see, according to Wood Mackenzie: Generating consistent free cash flow.
  • The owner of a British tanker seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz earlier this month raised concerns about the safety of the crew still on board.


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