Weekly losses of 2%… Oil pays the price for tightening monetary policy

2024-02-24 06:37:38

Oil prices suffered their first weekly loss in three weeks, as Brent crude futures fell by 2.2 percent, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell by 2.5 percent. These losses come amid growing fears of a possible global recession, as well as a rise in the value of the US dollar due to high interest rates, making oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

When contracts were settled on Friday, oil prices fell nearly three percent, after a Federal Reserve policymaker indicated that lowering interest rates may be delayed for at least another two months.

Weekly performance

Brent fell by 2.2 percent during the week, while US crude fell by about 2.5 percent. But signs of good fuel demand and supply concerns could lead to a price rebound in the coming days.

Upon settlement on Friday, Brent crude futures fell $2.05, or 2.5 percent, to $81.62 per barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures also fell $2.12, or 2.7 percent, to $76.49.

Christopher Waller, a member of the US Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, said on Thursday that central bank decision makers should postpone interest rate cuts for at least another two months, which could lead to a slowdown in economic growth and curbing demand for oil.

The US Central Bank has kept the interest rate at a range of 5.25-5.5 percent since last July, and the minutes of its policy meeting last month showed that most of its officials appear concerned about rushing to ease monetary policy.

At the same time, talks are taking place in Paris targeting a truce in the Gaza Strip, in what appears to be the most serious moves in weeks to stop the conflict in the Gaza Strip and release Israeli and foreign hostages.

Tim Evans, an independent oil market analyst, said in a note that the ceasefire talks may lead the market to expect a calming of geopolitical tension.

But tension continues in the Red Sea, with attacks launched by the Yemeni Houthi group, on Thursday, near the coast of Yemen, forcing cargo ships to divert from the commercial route.

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