Oil prices fall as uncertainty grips global demand

Oil prices fall as uncertainty grips global demand

Possible interest rate hikes, weak global economic data weigh down crude

ANKARA – Oil prices started the week on the decline due to demand fears fuelled by weak global economic data and the possibility of more interest rate hikes, reported Anadolu. International benchmark Brent crude traded at US$80.44 per barrel at 09.35am local time (0635 GMT), a 1.25% decrease from the closing price of US$81.46 a barrel in the previous trading session.

Meanwhile, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate traded at US$76.83 per barrel, down 1.34% from the previous session’s close of US$77.87 per barrel. Rising interest rates, concerns over the global economy, and a lower fuel demand outlook were instrumental in the decline in prices.

Oil prices came under pressure on expectations that central banks in the US, UK, and Europe would raise interest rates in the first week of May to combat high inflation. Loretta Mester, the head of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, said last week that the US central bank still has more interest rate increases ahead of it, placing pressure on prices.

Weak US economic data increased price pressure by raising recessionary concerns and slowing global oil demand. Both benchmarks fell more than 5% last week on weak economic concerns and as gasoline demand fell from a year ago in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, data showing signs of demand recovery in China, the world’s largest oil importer, limited price declines. It is estimated that China exported record volumes of oil in March, with imports from its leading suppliers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, exceeding 2 million barrels per day.

– Bernama, April 24, 2023

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