Oil Inches Higher on Possible Further Supply Reduction from Russia

Oil prices inched up on Thursday after reports that Russia’s supply cuts will be more than previously planned, but fears of increasing interest rates kept markets in the red for the week.

Brent oil futures rose 0.38% to $80.91 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.46% to $74.29 a barrel by 12.05 P.M. (Thai time). So far this week, both contracts have lost roughly 3 percent.

According to Reuters, Moscow plans to reduce oil exports from its western ports by as much as 25% in March from the previous month in an effort to increase oil prices. A larger reduction in supply than the 500,000 barrels indicated earlier this month is anticipated as a result of the decision.

Russia has cut production in reaction to Western countries setting export price ceilings for crude oil, a move that was widely criticized in Moscow.

The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting in February showed that most officials agreed that interest rates should be increased further. With inflation data coming in hotter than expected, more policymakers could be calling for larger rate hikes than before.

U.S. crude stockpiles likely increased by 10 million barrels in the week ending February 17, according to figures from the industry released on Wednesday. The reading normally predicts a similar pattern in statistics from the United States Energy Information Administration, which is expected to indicate that inventories in the U.S. increased for the ninth consecutive week.