By Noah Browning

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Crude prices fell nearly 1% on Monday as investors focused on near-term demand concerns ahead of key U.S. inflation data.

* As of 10:05 GMT, Brent crude futures were down $1.14, or 1.3%, at $85.25 a barrel, after gaining 2.2% on Friday. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell $1.11, or 1.3%, to $78.61, after rising 2.1% in the previous session.

* “Crude prices fall as energy traders price in a possible weakening in demand for oil, as a major inflation report could force the Fed to tighten monetary policy much more aggressively,” Edward said. OANDA analyst Moya, referring to U.S. consumer price data, due out Feb. 14.

* “This week could be a watershed moment in determining the severity of the recession that Wall Street forecasts,” he added.

* The Fed raised rates to curb inflation, raising fears the move could slow economic activity and demand for oil.

* Meanwhile, the resumption of Azerbaijani oil exports from Turkey’s Ceyhan terminal on Sunday eased supply concerns somewhat.

* The terminal had been damaged by the devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria last week. It is the storage and loading point for oil pipelines carrying oil from Azerbaijan and Iraq.

* Brent and WTI both rose more than 8% last week, buoyed by optimism about a recovery in Chinese demand after COVID restrictions ended in December. (Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore and Emily Chow in Kuala Lumpur; Spanish editing by Carlos Serrano)

Categorized in: