WTI Moves 'Tight' Ahead of CPI Report, Hovering Around $77.80


West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices hovered around $77.80 per barrel at Asian time today (Tuesday). The crude oil market remains weak ahead of the release of US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data tonight.

Expectations are for a modest increase in February's US inflation figures although the annual index is forecast to remain the same as the previous month.

A strong CPI report may reduce the possibility of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve (Fed) and further increase the strength of the US dollar. This will put pressure on crude oil prices.

The probability of a rate cut in June is 68.9%.

Market participants are also eagerly anticipating the release of monthly market reports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week aimed at assessing the outlook for global demand.

ANZ analysts said in a report that crude remained in a narrow trading range as investors awaited demand projections from monthly reports issued by the three major oil agencies.

Still, they remained largely unchanged and any unexpected upward revisions would ease demand concerns.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), US crude oil production continued to lead the global market for the sixth year in a row by reaching a record-breaking production average of 12.9 million barrels per day.

US crude oil production surged to a new monthly record high of more than 13.3 million barrels per day in December.