Skip to content

Oil Prices Climb 2% Amid Weakening Dollar and Small Fed Rate Hike

Following the U.S. Federal Reserve's small rate hike decision, oil prices increased by approximately 2% to a one-week high on Wednesday. The dollar weakened to a six-week low, suggesting a pause in future rate increases.


Crude Oil Benchmark Closes

Brent crude futures settled at $76.69 a barrel, a 1.8% increase, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed 1.8% higher at $70.90. These were the highest closing values for both benchmarks since March 14.

Fed's Approach to Interest Rates

The Fed raised interest rates by 0.25% but hinted at the possibility of pausing further increases due to the recent financial market turmoil caused by the collapse of two U.S. banks.

Dollar Decline Boosts Oil Demand

The U.S. dollar fell to its lowest level since February 2, making crude oil cheaper for buyers using other currencies and consequently supporting oil demand.

Oil Market Reaction to EIA Data

Despite the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) data showing a 1.1-million-barrel rise in crude stockpiles last week, oil markets remained unfazed.

Comparison of EIA and API Data

The EIA data reflected a smaller increase in crude stockpiles than the American Petroleum Institute's (API) reported a 3.3-million-barrel increase on Tuesday.

Crude Oil Storage Situation

U.S. crude stockpiles have grown since December, reaching their highest level since May 2021. Gasoline and distillate inventories, however, fell more than expected last week.

Banking Sector Turmoil and Oil Prices

Last week, WTI and Brent's prices dropped to their lowest since 2021 due to concerns that the banking sector turmoil could lead to a global recession and reduced oil demand. Credit Suisse Group AG's emergency rescue helped revive oil prices over the weekend.

OPEC+ Commitment to Output Cuts

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) is expected to maintain its output cut of 2 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the year, despite plunging crude prices, according to three delegates from the producer group.