Oil Prices Down 1% as Traders Worry about Fed’s Further Rate Hikes

Oil prices saw little losses on Friday as traders remained cautious about the US Federal Reserve’s higher rate hikes, which have prompted a fall in energy prices over the last three days.

By 11:24 a.m. (Thai time), Brent futures dropped 47 cents, or 0.58%, to US$81.12 per barrel, having dropped by around 5% over the previous three days. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 59 cents, or 0.78%, to $75.13, after falling over 6% in the previous three trading days.

US Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned of further and even more rapid rate hikes, claiming the central bank was wrong in assuming inflation was “transitory” and was taken aback by the robustness of the job market.

There was a sharp increase in the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week, the highest level in five months, but the underlying trend was still consistent with a tight labor market.

After two weeks of increases, oil prices are expected to drop this week due to concerns over global growth brought on by the prospect of further rate hikes in the US and similar remarks made by the President of the European Central Bank.