Oil Prices Rise as Traders Anticipate Additional Fed Signs

Little change was seen in oil prices during early Asian trade on Tuesday as investors braced for a widely expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve and additional clues on U.S. monetary policy later in the week.

As of 11.19 A.M. Bangkok time, Brent crude gained US$0.09, or 0.11%, to US$79.40 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slid US$0.12, or 0.16%, to US$75.78 a barrel.

Weak data from major economies and renewed upheaval in the banking sector have spurred growing fears of a worldwide economic recession this year, which has weighed heavily on oil prices in recent weeks. The strong dollar before the Federal Reserve’s meeting also put additional downward pressure on crude prices.

All eyes are on Wednesday’s scheduled end of a Fed meeting, where rates are expected to be raised by 25 basis points. However, there is still no sign that the central bank intends to pause in its rate-hike cycle.