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Friday, March 31, 2023

Oil Prices Near $50 a Barrel after OPEC, Russia Agree to Boost Supply

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Oil prices hit the highest level since March after major producers in the OPEC cartel and Russia, agreed to a cautious increase in output that eased fears of oversupply.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 1.1 per cent to $49.26 a barrel. US marker West Texas Intermediate climbed by a similar margin to $45.84.

On Thursday evening, Russia and OPEC forged an agreement to boost oil supply by 500,000 barrels a day from January, which was a quarter of what they had agreed to previously.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against trading partners’ currencies, fell 0.1 per cent on Friday morning, hovering around a two-and-a-half-year low.

A weaker dollar boosts crude prices as it makes it cheaper for holders of other currencies to purchase the commodity.

But expectations of an oil price recovery after the pandemic vary widely, with OPEC bullish on consumption while forecasts from oil producers and airlines suggest a peak in demand is close.

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