Oil Sees Little Change as Fear of Rate Hikes Continues to Weigh on Sentiment

Oil prices saw little change in early Asian trade on Tuesday, despite having dropped on Monday due to strong U.S. industrial data that stoked concerns about more interest rate hikes reducing demand.

Brent crude futures gained 14 cents, or 0.17%, to $82.59 per barrel by 11.35 A.M. (Thai time). Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.30%, to $75.91 a barrel.

U.S. Fed Governor Philip Jefferson said inflation for services in the United States remained “stubbornly high,” and the fear of future U.S. rate rises after stronger-than-expected new orders for core U.S.-manufactured capital goods in January kept a lid on oil prices.

The market will be watching for the latest U.S. oil stock data from the American Petroleum Institute business group on Tuesday and the government’s Energy Information Administration on Wednesday for more demand signs.

Initial results from a Reuters poll of analysts indicated that they anticipated an increase of oil stocks of 400,000 barrels in the week ending February 24. This would be the eleventh consecutive week of builds.