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Oil prices decline due to demand concerns; a Fed rate hike looms

Aria Thomas

Sep 21, 2022 10:28


Wednesday oil prices declined as traders anticipated that a Federal Reserve interest rate hike would dampen oil consumption. Indications of a likely increase in U.S. gasoline stockpiles were also negative.

By 20:37 ET, Brent oil futures declined 0.6% to $90.37 per barrel and WTI futures declined 0.2% to $83.73 per barrel (00:37 GMT). Tuesday, both contracts dropped more than 1 percent.

On Wednesday, the Fed is poised to increase interest rates by at least 75 basis points. To combat inflation, the bank will hike interest rates for the eighth time this year.

The action will tighten monetary conditions in the United States, weighing on economic expansion and oil demand. High inflation and rising interest rates have a negative impact on the nation's oil consumption.

Dollar rose prior to the hike. A stronger dollar increases the cost of oil imports, hence decreasing global crude demand. A stronger dollar reduces crude demand in India and Indonesia.

The API statistics released on Tuesday suggested weak oil demand from U.S. consumers. Last week, the API reported that U.S. gasoline inventories increased by 3.2 million barrels.

Despite lowering gas prices, the estimate and data indicating a decline in U.S. vehicle traffic showed lackluster fuel consumption in the country.

Today's API statistics are a preview of the official EIA data. It is anticipated that gasoline inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels last week.

Oil prices have declined significantly from their peaks during the Russia-Ukraine war due to expectations of a decline in demand. The continued depletion of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve has also contributed to price declines.

A harsh European winter could increase this year's heating oil use. As a result of U.S. sanctions on Russian oil, the supply should tighten, causing prices to rise.