Brent Crude Rises As Banking Fears Ease

Oil rose on Tuesday, extending a recovery from a 15-month low hit the previous day, as the rescue of Credit Suisse eased worries about global banking sector risks that could hit economic growth and fuel demand.

After jitters initially on Monday the mood across financial markets has lifted in the wake of UBS’ takeover of Credit Suisse and after major central banks said they would enhance market liquidity and support the banking system.

Brent crude was up 52 cents, or 0.7%, at $74.31 per barrel at 0910 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also gained 52 cents, or 0.8%, trading at $68.16.

“Banking jitters may have taken a breather yesterday but remain in play,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

“Although an immediate crisis appears to have been averted there are still fears of another sell-off.”

The next focus for investors is the decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday on whether and by how much to raise interest rates when it concludes its two-day meeting.

Since the banking strife began this month, markets have revised down expectations for the next Fed rate hike to 25 basis points from 50 bps.

The dollar index, rose on Tuesday after hitting a five-week low the previous session. A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies and so can temper demand.

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A meeting of key ministers from OPEC+, which includes OPEC members plus Russia and other allies, is scheduled for April 3. OPEC+ sources told Reuters the drop in prices reflects banking fears, rather than a worsening supply and demand balance.

Also coming into view is the latest U.S. oil inventory reports, which a Reuters survey expects to show lower crude and product inventories. The first report, from the American Petroleum Institute, is due out at 2030 GMT on Tuesday.

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