Oil prices down as Joe Biden pushes for U.S. fuel cost cuts

Oil prices declined in early trade on Wednesday amid a push by U.S. President Joe Biden to bring down rising fuel costs, including pressure on major U.S. companies to help ease the pain for drivers during the country’s peak summer demand. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.34, or 1,2%, to $108.18 a barrel, while Brent crude futures dropped $1.33, or 1.2%, to $113.32 a barrel.

As the United States suffers to tackle rising gasoline prices and inflation, U.S. President Joe Biden is expected on Wednesday to call for temporarily suspending the 18.4-cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline, a source instructed on the plan told Reuters. Biden had released on Monday he was considering whether to call for a pause in the tax.

“Even oil traders accepted that higher oil prices hence higher gasoline prices would lead to a more aggressive tag team charged from the (U.S.) Fed pushing rates higher and the Biden administration getting increasingly more creative on the political and fiscal front to tame the energy inflation beast,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

European oil sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have yet to take effect, meaning supply will only get tighter.”The market is still coming to terms with the increasing upset to Russian oil. European sanctions have yet to kick in,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note, pointing to data showing that so far there has only been a relatively limited drop in Russian fuel supply to Europe since the conflict began.

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