Crude oil futures traded higher on Thursday morning despite many officials of the US Fed Reserve agreeing to increase interest rates to control inflation. However, a media report on Russia planning further oil production led futures higher.
At 9.49 am on Thursday, April Brent oil futures were at $80.95, up by 0.43 per cent, and April crude oil futures on WTI were at $74.29, up by 0.46 per cent.
March crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,178 on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during the initial hours, against the previous close of ₹6,174, up by 0.06 per cent, and April futures were trading at ₹6,222, against the previous close of ₹6.217, up by 0.08 per cent.
Fed minutes point to hawkish stand
Quoting sources, a Reuters report said Russia is likely to reduce oil exports from its western ports by up to 25 per cent in March versus February. The proposed cut will be more than the already announced production cuts in Russia.
Russia has announced plans to cut its oil production by 500,000 barrels a day in March. This cut amounts to 5 per cent of its total output.
Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve released minutes of its meeting on Wednesday. According to the minutes, many Fed officials agreed with the fact that the risks of high inflation remained a key factor shaping monetary policy. They felt it required an increase in interest rates until inflation is controlled in the US.
Market reports noted that any move to resort to an aggressive increase in interest rates could lead to an economic slowdown, impacting the demand for commodities such as crude oil.
Some market reports that quoted sources from the American Petroleum Institute noted that crude oil inventories in the US increased by 9.9 million barrels last week, which was higher than the expected level of increase. However, official data from the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) is expected later on Thursday.
Jeera up, guarseed down
March natural gas futures were trading at ₹191.60 on the MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹199.80, down by 4.10 per cent.
On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), March jeera contracts were trading at ₹31,475 in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹31315, up by 0.51 per cent.
March guarseed futures were trading at ₹5,814 on NCDEX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹5,860, down by 0.78 per cent.
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