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Oil Holds Steady as Traders Eye OPEC+ Cutbacks and Geopolitics

(Bloomberg) -- Oil settled little changed Tuesday, after swinging between gains and losses, with OPEC+ set to affirm its policy of production cuts amid tensions in the Middle East and Russia.

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West Texas Intermediate settled above $81, while global benchmark Brent closed above $86 a barrel. OPEC+ delegates aren’t seeing a need to change supply policy at a review meeting next week, according to several national officials, with quotas in place until June proving effective. The Houthis renewed threats against Saudi Arabia if it supported US strikes.

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The technical backdrop helped keep oil range-bound Tuesday, with crude’s moving averages yet to form a golden cross, a bullish pattern. That’s when an asset’s 50-day moving average exceeds the corresponding 200-day figure. Its last formation for the generic contract in August preceded WTI surging by more than $10 a barrel to above $90.

Signs of a shift in monetary policy have also aided sentiment. The Federal Reserve has signaled a willingness to cut interest rates later this year, buoying appetite for risk assets, including oil.

Crude has risen about 14% this quarter, breaking out of a tight range that held for the first two months of the year. Attacks by Ukraine on Russian refineries have aided gains, together with signs of strength in some product markets including gasoline. The positive overall market outlook has spurred hedge funds to increase their bullish bets on Brent.

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