Corporal Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON, March 16 – Crude prices regained ground on Thursday from 15-month lows in the previous session as markets cooled somewhat after Credit Suisse received a financial lifeline from regulators Swiss.

* However, market sentiment remained fragile, weighed down by fears of heightened stress on banks around the world, as both major crude oil benchmarks returned some of the day’s early gains.

* As of 11:05 GMT, Brent futures were up 54 cents, or 0.7%, at $74.23 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 43 cents, or 0.6%, to $68.04.

* On Wednesday, the third straight day of declines, WTI fell below $70 for the first time since Dec. 20, 2021. Brent is down nearly 10% since Friday’s close and WTI nearly 11%.

* “Oil fell below $70 a barrel amid fears a second financial crisis could affect the demand outlook,” said Fiona Cincotta, an analyst at City Index. “Market sentiment improved today after Credit Suisse received a financial lifeline.”

* Credit Suisse said on Thursday it would borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank to bolster its liquidity and investor confidence, after falling stocks heightened fears of a global financial crisis.

* These fears could crowd out inflation concerns when European Central Bank policymakers meet on Thursday, possibly forcing them to abandon plans for a sharp hike in interest rates that could slow economic growth and curb demand for oil.

(Additional reporting by Muyu Xu; Editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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