Oil Advances as Market Eyes Weekend OPEC+ Meeting in Vienna

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(Bloomberg) -- Oil climbed on Friday as the dollar slipped and equities gained, while traders were turning their attention to the weekend’s OPEC+ meeting in Vienna.

West Texas Intermediate futures rose to trade around $71 a barrel, while remaining on course for a weekly drop. ICE Brent also gained. At their weekend gathering, OPEC+ will likely balance factors including disappointing Chinese economic indicators and the deal on the US debt ceiling as they consider output levels.

Many market watchers expect OPEC+ to keep output levels unchanged, though the group did unveil surprise cuts in April and Saudi Arabia’s energy minister recently warned speculators to “watch out.” Crude is down more than 10% this year, in part due to resilient exports from Russia despite sanctions.

OPEC is looking to create “maximum value,” so will make sure its oil is sold at a price that’s acceptable to all of its members, BlackRock’s head of thematic investing Evy Hambro said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “If that means that volume cuts need to take place, then they will happen,” he said, without specifying what he expects ministers to decide this weekend.

A weaker dollar supported oil prices, making commodities priced in the US currency more attractive. The Stoxx Europe 600 index followed Asian benchmarks higher.

In the US, the Senate passed legislation to suspend the US debt ceiling and impose restraints on government spending through the 2024 election, ending a drama that threatened a global financial crisis. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden.

China is working on a new basket of measures to support the property market. The sector remains a key drag on the world’s second-largest economy, which has seen its post-Covid recovery losing steam in recent weeks.

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US crude stockpiles rose by about 4.5 million barrels last week, while supplies at the key storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, expanded for a sixth week, according to Energy Information Administration data released Thursday.

--With assistance from Verity Ratcliffe.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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