Oil set for weekly loss as traders weigh monetary tightening
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Oil set for weekly loss as traders weigh monetary tightening

Oil set for weekly loss as traders weigh monetary tightening

Oil is still up more than 50 per cent this year after rebounding demand combined with upended trade flows

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Oil is heading for the first weekly decline since April after a period of choppy trading as investors weigh the prospect of further monetary tightening from central banks to curb rampant inflation.

West Texas Intermediate fell to trade near $117 a barrel on Friday after rising 2 per cent in the previous session. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week openly endorsed for the first time raising interest rates well into restrictive territory, a strategy that’s often resulted in an economic downturn. The bank hiked rates the most since 1994 on Wednesday to combat inflation.

The Russia-Ukraine crisis has fanned inflation and helped to drive up the cost of everything from food to fuels. US retail gasoline prices have repeatedly broken records and the national average recently topped $5 a gallon. The White House is weighing limits on fuel exports to try and alleviate the pump pain.

Oil is still up more than 50 per cent this year after rebounding demand combined with upended trade flows from Russia to squeeze the market. Prices could withstand an economic slowdown because supplies are tighter than other recessionary periods, S&P Global vice chairman Daniel Yergin said this week.

The surge in prices is hitting consumers across the globe. Citigroup said this week that buyers of commodities paying producers about $5.2tn more in 2022 than they did three years ago. European airline Wizz Air said that it will reverse a post-pandemic policy of not hedging its fuel bill as oil surges.

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