Crude oil futures may rise as OPEC production reductions begin to be felt in consuming countries and U.S. gasoline consumption increases.
Crude oil futures may rise as OPEC production reductions begin to be felt in consuming countries and U.S. gasoline consumption increases. Fifteen of 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, or 48 percent, said futures will increase through March 6. Ten respondents, or 32 percent, forecast oil prices will be little changed and six said that there will be a decline. Last week, 43 percent of analysts expected prices would fall.
The 11 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries with quotas, all except Iraq, cut output 3.8 percent to 25.3 million barrels a day in February, consultant PetroLogistics Ltd. of Geneva said this week. Declining U.S. pump prices have spurred gasoline demand and cut inventories.
U.S. gasoline consumption averaged 9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, an Energy Department report on Feb. 25 showed. Supplies fell 3.32 million barrels to 215.3 million last week, the biggest reduction since September, according to the report.
?I am starting to believe in an upside in oil,? said Peter Beutel, president of Cameron Hanover Inc., an energy consulting company in New Canaan, Connecticut. ?OPEC compliance at record levels, gasoline demand turning positive, seasonal factors? and a failure to break through a Dec. 19 low of $32.40 a barrel suggest a rally.
Crude oil for April delivery increased $5.19, or 13 percent, to $45.22 a barrel so far this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have dropped 69 percent from the record $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11.
The oil survey has correctly predicted the direction of futures 48 percent of the time since its start in April 2004.