Oil Heads for Weekly Advance Ahead of Critical US Inflation Data

Oil Heads for Weekly Advance Ahead of Critical US Inflation Data

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(Bloomberg) — Oil headed for a weekly gain ahead of US inflation data that may give further clues on the path forward for monetary policy, shaping appetite for risk assets including commodities such as crude.

Brent rose above $89 a barrel and is up more than 2% for the week, while West Texas Intermediate was near $84. The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation figure is due later Friday, coming hard on the heels of data showing weaker US economic growth. Other gauges of price rises in the US remained hotter-than-expected, suggesting the timing of rate cuts may be pushed back.

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Crude has advanced this year on supply cuts implemented by OPEC+ and political risks in the Middle East, including heightened tensions between Israel and Iran that lifted Brent above $90 a barrel earlier this month. This week’s advance was also supported by a drawdown in US nationwide inventories.

The “focus is likely to stay on macro,” said Charu Chanana, an analyst at Saxo Capital Markets Pte, adding that a further acceleration in prices could cloud demand prospects. There were also headwinds from the weak US GDP data, which prompted stagflation concerns, she said.

Still, timespreads point to a tighter market, with the gap between Brent’s two nearest contracts at $1.30 a barrel in backwardation, a bullish pattern where nearer contracts trade at a premium to longer-dated ones. That’s more than twice the difference seen a month ago.

Also in focus on Friday will be earnings and market commentary from some of the world’s biggest oil majors, including Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

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