Oil Prices Rise as Market Awaits Possible OPEC+ Cuts

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The oil prices in the early Asian trading session rose as the markets weighed up the possibility of OPEC+ production reductions over the weekend that would support the price, amid the positive sentiment surrounding the U.S. monetary policies and Washington's Debt Ceiling Bill.

Brent crude futures rose by 13 cents or 0.18%, reaching $74.41 a barrel at 0115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), on the other hand, rose by 15 cents or 0.21% to $70.25 a barrel, after two days of falling crude prices.

The markets were reassured that the Federal Reserve may pause its rate hikes and the House of Representatives passed a bill to suspend the U.S. Government debt ceiling. This likely prevented a catastrophic sovereign default.

The U.S. Debt Ceiling Bill is awaiting the approval of the Senate. Democratic Majority leader Chuck Schumer said that the Senate will remain in session until Thursday night U.S. Time, if necessary.

The Energy Information Administration's Thursday crude stock data for the United States also boosted market sentiment, as it showed that crude imports had increased last week.

Investors are now focused on the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) and its allies, including Russia.

Ministers of key oil-producing countries will decide if they need to reduce production further to boost government revenues.

Crude prices would benefit from further reductions in OPEC+ production following the surprise cut of 1,16 million barrels a day that they made in April.

Analysts from Goldman Sachs and HSBC, among others, have indicated that further cuts in outputs are unlikely. The bloc will "wait and watch" and adopt a wait-and-see approach.

Some market analysts have cited weak manufacturing data from China and the U.S. to support the argument for OPEC+ reductions.

The Institute for Supply Management in the U.S. reported on Thursday that their manufacturing PMI dropped to 46.9 from 47.1 last month. This is the seventh consecutive month the PMI has remained below 50, which indicates a contraction of manufacturing activity in the largest oil consumer in the world.

The manufacturing data from China presented a mixed picture. Thursday's Caixin/S&P Global China Manufacturing PMI, which was better than expected, contrasted with official government data the day before that showed factory activity had decreased to its lowest level in 5 months in May.