Oil Falls on Persistent Inflation and Stalled Supply Cuts

Oil dipped as signs of stubborn US inflation whipsawed wider markets and OPEC said its latest supply cuts stalled.

West Texas Intermediate settled below $78, after fluctuating between gains and losses, as stocks rebounded and shrugged off a higher-than-expected inflation print. Brent futures retreated under $82 a barrel. In addition to the US economic data, OPEC’s monthly report said Iraq produced more crude than its quota for a second month.

The Fed is widely expected to hold interest rates steady for a fifth straight meeting when policymakers gather starting March 19. Slightly higher-than-expected CPI numbers are not likely to “rock the boat,” said Ole Hansen, a commodity strategist at Saxo Bank A/S, “overall a report that is unlikely to impact the thinking.”

Oil has advanced this year, but prices have been pushed and pulled by bullish and bearish dynamics. OPEC+ supply cuts have been offset by higher output from outside the group, while concerns about Chinese demand persist. Later this week, the International Energy Agency will provide a snapshot of the market.


  • WTI for April delivery fell 0.5% to settle at $77.56 a barrel.
  • Brent for May settlement declined 0.4% to $81.92 a barrel.