Oil Prices Rise as Markets Continue to Digest Output Cut, Await More Rate Hike Cues from Fed

Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Tuesday, driven up by the prospect of output cuts by the world’s leading crude producers and anticipation of more stimulus measures in major importer China.

Brent crude futures rose 41 cents, or 0.53%, to $78.10 a barrel by 10.55 A.M. Bangkok time, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 43 cents, or 0.59%, at $73.42.

However, gains were capped as traders sought further clues on the world’s largest oil user ahead of upcoming U.S. inflation data and speakers from the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark prices were helped along by the decline of the US dollar to a two-month low and supply cuts by the world’s two largest oil exporters, Saudi Arabia and Russia. 

While central bank officials have indicated that the U.S. Federal Reserve may need to raise interest rates further to bring inflation down, markets have taken comfort from signs that the current monetary policy tightening cycle may be nearing an end.

Energy investors are also hoping China would take other steps to support its economic recovery.

Traders also anticipated U.S. crude inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute later on Tuesday. Analysts anticipate a build of 200,000 barrels. 

To assess demand, investors awaited U.S. Consumer Price Index data, a key inflation gauge, and Chinese economic releases later this week.