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Oil steady as US data cools inflation worries

Oil prices head for biggest weekly loss in five weeks
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February 01, 2023: Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday, rebounding from the previous session's lows over signs of easing inflation in the US, the world's largest oil-consuming country, while the market continues to be over-cautious ahead of OPEC+ and US Federal Reserve (Fed) meetings.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $85.52 per barrel at 10.12 a.m. local time (0712GMT), up 0.07% from the closing price of $85.46 a barrel in the previous trading session.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $79.03 per barrel at the same time, a 0.20% gain after the previous session closed at $78.87 a barrel.

Prices rose slightly as the Fed's preferred inflation indicator eased annually to a 4.4% gain in December 2022, down from a 4.7% increase in November, according to US Commerce Department figures released last week.

The softening in the year-on-year figures is a result of the Fed's aggressive monetary tightening cycle and interest rate increases last year.

The US central bank last year made a total of 425 points rate hikes on seven occasions to fight record-high inflation that climbed to its highest level in over 40 years by mid-2022.

The Fed's first 2023 two-day meeting will conclude on Wednesday and is widely expected to result in a 25-basis-point rate hike.


Posted on: 2023-02-01T14:53:01+05:00