Oil prices: 2024 fall amid US rate jitters, surprise inventory build

Oil prices fall amid US rate jitters, surprise inventory build


Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Thursday, pressured by persistent concerns over high for longer U.S. interest rates, while an unexpected build in inventories also raised concerns over less tight markets.

Traders steadily priced out a risk premium from oil prices this week after the death of Iran’s President appeared to have had little immediate bearing on geopolitical conditions in the Middle East.


Cooling optimism over stimulus measures in top oil importer China also factored into some weakness in markets, as traders waited to see just how the country will roll out its recently unveiled stimulus measures.

Brent oil futures expiring in July fell 0.7% to $81.35 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.8% to $76.98 a barrel by 21:02 ET (01:02 GMT).

US rate jitters grow after Fed minutes, policymaker comments

The minutes of the Fed’s late-April meeting showed waning confidence among policymakers that inflation was easing as expected, potentially necessitating high for longer interest rates.


A string of Fed officials also warned of such a scenario in recent weeks, and that any potential plans for rate cuts will be largely contingent on confidence in inflation coming back within the central bank’s 2% annual target.

Several policymakers also said they were open to raise interest rates further should the need arise, the minutes showed.

demait account
demait account

The minutes, along with the comments, boosted the dollar on Wednesday, which in turn pressured oil prices.

The prospect of high for longer U.S. rates also spurred persistent concerns that global economic activity will cool substantially in 2024, pressuring oil demand.

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