Oil Halts Negative Price Movements
Crude oil prices jumped moderately on Friday ahead of US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech due later in the day. International benchmark Brent crude traded at $83.92 per barrel, representing a 0.67% rise from the closing price on Thursday of $83.36 per barrel.
The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at the same time at $79.53 per barrel, up 0.61% from the previous session’s close of $79.05 per barrel. Fed Chairman Powell is expected to deliver clues about the country’s interest rate policy for the remainder of the year during his speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium.
Powell, in his statement after the bank’s meeting in July, spoke of the possibility of interest rate increases again at the Fed’s next meeting in September if inflation and labour force data require it. In his speech on Friday, market players anticipate that Powell will continue his message that interest rates should stay higher for longer than expected.
The possibility of higher interest rates in the US, the world’s biggest oil consumer, reinforces concerns that economic activity will slow down further this year and reduce demand for crude oil. The US dollar rose to its strongest level since June on Friday. A stronger dollar makes crude more expensive for international buyers. The US dollar index was 104.137 at 10.26 a.m. (0726 GMT), up 0.21% compared to the closing price on Thursday.
As the week runs down, crude oil prices tick higher but are on course for a weekly loss as concerns about easing supply tightness and a cloudy demand outlook have outweighed reduced OPEC output. Brent crude oil is on course for a 1.6% decline for the week. WTI is also set for a 1.4% weekly loss. Oil prices have slipped in recent weeks thanks to Iranian exports rising and the possibility of sanctions on Venezuela being lifted.
But BMI Industry Research doesn’t expect further losses for now. “The cutbacks in place by OPEC+, additional unilateral action by Saudi Arabia and export declines in Russia, as well as seasonally strong consumption, support the market,” the company says in a note. #Oil Halts Negative Price Movements N6.9bn Fraud: Emefiele Allegedly Opts for Plea Bargain