Oil set for second weekly drop as recession fears, rates cloud outlook
Oil prices were little changed on Friday but are set for their second weekly drop as disappointing economic data from the U.S., the world’s biggest crude user, and uncertainty on further interest rate hikes raised concerns about future fuel demand.
Brent crude futures for June were trading at $78.53 a barrel, up 16 cents, or 0.2%, as of 0156 GMT. That contract expires on Friday and the more active July contract was up 21 cents, or 0.3% at 78.43 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 23 cents, or 0.3%, at $74.99 a barrel.
Brent is set to decline this week by 3.8% and is down 9.1% in the past two weeks. WTI is on a path to drop 3.8% this week, taking its two-week decline to 9.4%.
U.S. economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter, although jobless claims fell in the week ending April 22, data showed.
Investors are also worried about potential interest rate hikes by inflation-fighting central banks could slow economic growth and dent energy demand in the United States, Britain and the European Union.
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