Oil headed for worst weekly drop since Feb on U.S. slowdown fears
Oil fell for a fourth session on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly loss in five weeks on worries about the prospect of steep interest rate hikes in the United States slowing growth and hitting fuel demand.
Brent dipped 48 cents, or 0.6, to $81.11 a barrel by 0434 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) were down 60 cents, or 0.8%, at $75.12 a barrel.
Expectations of ongoing rate hikes in the world’s largest economy and in Europe have clouded the global growth outlook and driven both crude benchmarks down more than 5.5% so far this week, in their worst drop since early February.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has warned of higher and potentially faster rate hikes, saying the Fed was wrong in initially thinking inflation was “transitory” and was surprised by the strength of the labour market.
The labour market is still seen as tight, even after the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased by the most in five months last week.
“Investors have become increasingly cautious,” analysts from Haitong Futures said in a note.
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