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Brent drops ahead of US inflation data

Brent oil is taking a pause just below $80/bbl mark, after having staged a comeback in the second half of March.

Brent’s gains this week were enabled by the disruption to 400,000 barrels per day of Iraqi oil exports, which tightened global supplies.

Oil benchmarks were also aided by the faltering US dollar this month, as banking turmoil on either side of the Atlantic prompted markets to slash bets over further demand-destroying Fed rate hikes.

The US PCE core deflator today may trigger fresh volatility in oil prices, assuming markets can ditch contagion fears and refocus on the Fed’s path forward in its battle against inflation.

Brent drops ahead of US inflation data

Despite China’s higher-than-expected PMI data released earlier today, Brent prices are easing into the weekend and are on track for a third consecutive monthly decline.

Oil bulls have to find more demand-side relief, especially from evidence that China’s economic recovery is taking further meaningful strides, in order to be restored back to the $80-$90 range.

The global oil benchmark must clamber above the psychologically-important $80 line in order to restore faith in Brent bulls that the expected recovery in 2023 can indeed materialize.



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