Oil prices fall weekly amid concerns about strength of US economy

(MENAFN) Oil prices faced a notable downturn over the course of the week, marking the longest stretch of weekly losses thus far in the year. Despite a modest uptick of 1 percent in the week's trading, apprehensions regarding the sustained strength of the US Economy cast a shadow over the market sentiment. Analysts pointed to fears that robust US economic indicators might prompt policymakers to maintain higher interest rates for an extended period, potentially dampening demand for fuel.

In the commodities market, brent crude futures for July delivery saw a rise of 76 cents, settling at USD82.12 per barrel. Meanwhile, the August futures, which represent the most actively traded contract, also experienced an increase, climbing approximately 73 cents to reach USD81.84 per barrel. Similarly, US West Texas Intermediate crude futures witnessed a gain of about 85 cents, or 1.1 percent, settling at USD77.72 per barrel.

The week witnessed a downward trend in oil prices, with Brent crude futures closing at their weakest levels since February 7th, while US crude futures hit their lowest point since February 23rd. Brent ultimately concluded the week with a 2.1 percent decrease, enduring a four-day losing streak, the longest since January 2nd. Correspondingly, West Texas Intermediate crude saw a decline of 2.8 percent by the week's end.

Adding to market uncertainty, minutes from the Federal Reserve's recent meeting on Wednesday revealed deliberations among policymakers regarding the adequacy of current interest rates in addressing inflationary pressures. Some officials expressed a readiness to further raise borrowing costs should inflation accelerate beyond expectations, signaling a potential shift in monetary policy stance in response to evolving economic dynamics.



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