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Oil Prices Soar on Supply Concerns

Oil prices rose by more than $1.00 U.S. a barrel on Wednesday as markets focused on supply tightness heading into winter and a “soft landing” for the U.S. economy.

Brent crude futures were up $1.73, or 1.8%, to $95.69 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed $2.18, or 2.4%, to $92.58.

Markets continued to worry about U.S. crude stockpiles at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub falling below minimum operating levels.

That dip at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures, would compound supply tightness stemming from supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies. This tightness is helping fuel the current crude price gains.

Those concerns come despite industry data on Tuesday showing U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week by about 1.6 million barrels, against analysts’ expectations of a roughly 300,000-barrel drop.

Meanwhile, a “soft landing” for the U.S. economy is more likely than not, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said on Tuesday, but there is also a 40% chance that the Fed will need to raise interest rates “meaningfully” to beat inflation.