As Fed caution prevails over speculation of OPEC+ cut extensions, crude oil eases

In early Asian trading on Wednesday, oil prices fell as rumors of extensions to OPEC+ output restrictions countered the positive impact from the possibility of a postponed U.S. rate-cutting cycle. By 0110 U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) were down 35 cents, or 0.44%, to $78.52 a barrel, while Brent crude futures slid 38 cents, or 0.45%, to $83.27 a barrel.

Following news from Reuters that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) and its allies, led by Russia, may think about extending voluntary oil output cuts into the second quarter in order to support the market further, prices for both benchmarks of crude oil increased by more than $1 per barrel on Tuesday.

With Saudi Arabia leading the way, OPEC+ decided in November of last year to roll over its own voluntary cut, amounting to roughly 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of this year. Additionally on Tuesday, Russian authorities declared that starting on March 1, gasoline exports would be prohibited for six months in order to meet the increased demand from farmers and consumers as well as to accommodate scheduled refinery repairs.

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