Crude oil prices drop as investors get uneasy about rate increases

Although a recovery in Chinese demand and a weaker dollar offered some support, oil prices fell in Monday’s Asian morning session as worries about potential future interest rate hikes in the United States continued to worry investors. The price of Brent crude futures had dropped 15 cents, or 0.18%, to $82.63 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) fell by 9 cents, or -0.12%, to $76.59 per barrel.

The ANZ Bank analysts noted in a report on Monday morning that market mood was fragile due to concerns about further monetary tightening by the Fed being worsened by rising crude oil stockpiles in the U.S. Oil prices were supported by a depreciating dollar, which lowers the cost of oil for holders of foreign currencies.

There has been downward pressure on the dollar as a result of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and New York-based Signature Bank as well as worries about probable contagion. On Monday morning, Asian trading saw a 0.2% decline in the dollar index. Amin Nasser, the CEO of Saudi Aramco, made some supportive remarks regarding Chinese demand for crude oil on Sunday.

The sluggish start to the week for oil indicates a slowing of the upward trend that began on Friday after positive surprises in the U.S. jobs figures. According to a Reuters survey, the nonfarm payrolls increased by 311,000 in February, exceeding estimates of 205,000 new positions. On Friday, energy services company Baker Hughes Co reported that for the first time since July 2020, U.S. energy businesses this week reduced the number of active oil and natural gas rigs for a fourth consecutive week.

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