Oil Surges Most in a Year After OPEC+’s Shocking Production Cut
Oil rallied the most in more than a year after OPEC+ unexpectedly announced output cuts that threaten to tighten the market and deliver a fresh inflationary jolt to the world economy.
“OPEC+ shows commitment to protecting against the downside,” said Nadia Martin Wiggen, a partner at Pareto Securities. “The duration of the cut is the most surprising and bullish part.”
The decision quickly rippled across global oil markets. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted price forecasts for this year and 2024, key timespreads surged higher amid expectations of tighter supply and a usually quiet Asian trading session saw hundreds of thousands of contracts change hands. US gasoline futures also surged, underscoring inflationary risks.
Before the surprise intervention, crude had capped a 5.7% quarterly drop amid banking-sector turmoil and recession risks. Still, many market watchers had said they expected a rebound in the second half, underpinned by rising demand in China.
The White House said the OPEC+ decision was ill-advised, while adding the US would work with producers and consumers to contain gasoline prices. Last year, President Joe Biden ordered an unprecedented release from the nation’s strategic crude reserves after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Costlier crude threatens to add to inflation, complicating central banks’ efforts to tame persistent price pressures. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates again last month, and officials are next scheduled to meet in May to set monetary policy.
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