LONDON, Oct 21 – Oil steadied on Friday as investors weighed the impact of sharp interest rate hikes on energy consumption, offsetting hopes of higher Chinese demand and production cuts from OPEC and its allies.
* To fight inflation, the US Federal Reserve is trying to rein in the economy and will continue to raise its short-term rate target, Philadelphia-based President Patrick Harker said on Thursday.
* By 1052 GMT, Brent crude was down 17 cents, or 0.18%, at $92.56 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate in the United States (WTI) was up 10 cents, or 0.12% , at $84.60.
* “With several key Fed members taking turns in the hawkish pulpit this week arguing for even higher interest rates, optimism for hopes of an easing of the lockdown in China is fading,” he said in a statement. note Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management. “Everyone is pining for a commodity surge fueled by the reopening of China, but we’re not there yet.”
* Brent, which neared its all-time high of $147 in March, is headed for a weekly gain of less than 1%, while US crude could drop more than 1.5%. Both references fell in the previous week.
* Crude oil rose on Thursday after Bloomberg reported that Beijing is considering reducing the quarantine period for visitors to seven days from the current 10. There has been no official confirmation from Beijing.
* China, the world’s largest importer of crude, has implemented strict COVID-19 restrictions this year, weighing on business and economic activity and reducing fuel demand.
* The barrel has been helped by the European Union’s looming ban on Russian oil, as well as the production cut agreed earlier this month by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
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