Oil prices dip on U.S. rate hike expectations, weak China PMI
Oil prices fell on Monday as jitters over the prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates, which could slow growth and hit fuel demand, and worries about weaker Chinese manufacturing data combined to erase earlier gains.
Brent futures for July delivery were down 61 cents, or 0.8%, at $79.72 a barrel at 0313 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 63 cents, also a 0.8% drop, to trade at $76.15.
U.S. consumer spending was flat in March as an increase in outlays on services was offset by a decline in goods, but persistent strength in underlying inflation pressures could see the Federal Reserve raising interest rates again.
“A hawkish tone from the Fed could put pressure on energy and metals,” ANZ Research said in a client note.
The Fed is expected to increase interest rates by another 25 basis points this week. The U.S. central bank has raised its policy rate by 475 basis points since March of last year from the near-zero level to the current 4.75%-5.00% range.
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