Brent oil falls on fears of global economic slowdown
Brent oil prices fell on Tuesday as fears that a global economic slowdown would reduce fuel demand prompted investors to take profits on the previous day’s gains.
Traders are awaiting the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, due on Wednesday, after recent data on core inflation raised the risk of interest rates remaining higher for longer.
Brent crude was down 66 cents, or 0.8%, at $83.41 a barrel as of 0750 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) futures for March, which expire on Tuesday, were up 4 cents, or 0.1%, at $76.38.
WTI futures did not settle on Monday because of a public holiday in the United States. The April WTI contract, currently the most active, was up 23 cents at $76.78.
“Brent is at the middle of the trading range since late December of between $78 and $88 a barrel, with some investors taking profits on concerns over more U.S. interest rate hikes while others kept bullish sentiment on hopes for a demand recovery in China,” said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.
“The market will likely remain in the tight range until there are more clear signs for the future direction of the U.S. monetary policy and the economic recovery path in China,” he said.
With China’s oil imports likely to hit a record high in 2023 and demand from India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, surging amid tightening supplies, all eyes are now on monetary policy in the United States, the world’s largest economy and biggest oil consumer.
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