Investing.com — On one end, the debate is whether there’ll be a pause or hike. On the other, it’s whether a stay or another cut is coming. But Fed hike or OPEC+ cut, May is turning out to be a mixed month for oil bulls despite two straight weeks of gains.
New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, or , crude was up 61 cents, or 0.9%, to $72.44 per barrel by 12:00 ET (16:00 GMT). WTI slumped 3% in the previous session but remains on course for a gain of more than 1% on the week after last week’s rise of 2%.
London-traded crude, the global benchmark for oil, was higher by 42 cents, or 0.6%, at $76.68. Like WTI, Brent was also up more than 1% for the week after the prior week’s gain of 2%.
Oil pared Friday’s gains after the Federal Reserve’s favorite gauge for U.S. inflation came in hotter-than-forecast for April, indicating that the central bank will raise interest rates again in June and July versus expectations for a pause.
All key metrics in the so-called Personal Consumption Expenditures, or , Index rose for last month against forecast levels as the Fed keenly looked for indicators that would compel a hold on its higher-for-longer monetary policy that has already seen 10 rate hikes over 15 months.
For the year to April, the PCE Index expanded at 4.4% versus forecasts for 3.9% and previous growth of 4.2%. For the itself, it jumped 0.4%, as expected and versus a prior expansion of 0.1%.
, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, gained 4.7% on an annualized basis versus both the projected and previous rate of 4.6%. On a , it rose 0.4% against the forecast and prior rate of 0.3%.
“ is a problem and the consumer remains red hot,” economist Adam Button said on the ForexLive forum. “The Fed is going to hike again and now the odds are 58-42% for June and July is 100% with a slight chance of another hike. At some point the Fed will have to pause and evaluate but we’re lapping some very high energy numbers now and it’s not enough to get inflation to a 3-handle. At minimum, the Fed needs to start seeing some monthly numbers at +0.3% or lower.”
Earlier, oil rallied as Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is also the nation’s de facto oil minister, walked back his comments from Thursday that suggested that the OPEC+ alliance will not cut output again at its meeting on June 4.
OPEC+, an alliance of 13 Saudi-led nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 other oil…
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