Crude Oil Pushes Above $40, Accomodative Fed Policy Drives Dollar Lower

U.S. stocks are moving higher on Friday and the Dow is positive again after turning positive in 2016 on Thursday which comes as the U.S. dollar weakens further and crude oil continues to rally, pushing above $40 a barrel, helped by a weakening U.S. dollar and hopes for a deal in April between OPEC and non-OPEC nations.

On April 17th oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC nations will hold a meeting in Qatar to build upon a tentative deal reached at a meeting last month between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela, and Non-OPEC member Russia to freeze oil production at January levels.

The meeting last month between OPEC nations provided the catalyst for crude oil prices to rally.

Crude oil is up over 50 percent during the past 25 days,  pushed higher late this week by a decision reached on Wednesday by committee member at the Fed Reserve to remain cautious about raising interest rates in 2016.

The revised median projection among committee members updated at Wednesday’s Fed meeting shows that only 2 interest rates are projected in 2016, down from 4 rate increases projected at the Fed’s December meeting.

The decision by the Fed to remain cautious has caused the dollar to plunge and oil prices to rally. Crude oil is priced and sold in dollar denominations. A weaker dollar means that crude oil becomes more affordable in other international currencies and serves to drive up demand and the price of crude oil.

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