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Crude Oil News Today: Will Summer Demand Continue to Drive Prices Higher?

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Oil Market Surges: Demand Spikes and Inventories Drop

U.S. crude oil marked its second consecutive weekly gain, climbing nearly 4.0% despite a slight Friday dip. This rally, fueled by soaring gasoline demand and substantial inventory drawdowns, has set the stage for a potentially volatile market situation.

Last week, Light Crude Oil futures settled at $80.73, up $2.68 or +3.43%.

Weekly Light Crude Oil Futures

Summer Travel Sparks Record-Breaking Demand

Gasoline consumption in the U.S. has hit a post-pandemic high, reaching a staggering 9.4 million barrels per day last week. This surge aligns with expectations of 71 million Americans traveling during the upcoming July 4th holiday, further boosting demand. JPMorgan reports that global oil demand has increased by 1.4 million bpd this month, driven by robust summer travel across Europe and Asia.

Inventory Squeeze: A Triple Threat

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest report has sent ripples through the market. Crude inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels, surpassing analysts’ predictions. Adding to the pressure, both gasoline and distillate stocks saw significant declines, illustrating strengthening demand across all fronts.

Geopolitical Tensions: Risks Escalate

Recent events have heightened geopolitical risks. A bold Ukrainian drone strike on a Russian oil terminal has exposed vulnerabilities in energy infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Middle East remains volatile, with escalating conflicts between Israel and Hezbollah adding a substantial risk premium to oil prices.

Economic Crossroads: Fed Rate Cut Looming?

Signs of a cooling U.S. job market have sparked speculation about potential Federal Reserve rate cuts. This economic shift could significantly impact oil prices. Lower interest rates typically boost economic growth and oil demand, potentially adding more momentum to the already strong oil market.

Market Forecast: Bulls in Control

The short-term outlook for oil prices remains decisively bullish. JPMorgan has set an ambitious target, forecasting Brent crude to reach $90 per barrel by September as summer fuel demand tightens supply. From a technical perspective, strong support levels between $73.60 and $76.02 are expected to underpin a long-term rally, with $79.16 serving as a critical short-term support level.

Traders’ Focus for the Week Ahead

As we enter a new trading week, market participants should closely monitor several key factors. Continued inventory drawdowns across crude, gasoline, and distillates will be crucial to watch. Escalating geopolitical tensions, particularly in the Middle East, could further impact prices. Traders should also pay attention to signals from the Federal Reserve regarding potential rate cuts, as these could significantly influence market sentiment.

Summer travel demand, especially leading up to the July 4th holiday, will likely play a pivotal role in driving prices. With sufficient buying volume, the market could see significant upward momentum in the coming days. The stage is set for a potentially volatile and profitable week in the oil markets, offering ample opportunities for astute traders to capitalize on these market conditions.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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