Oil Prices Up Slightly as US Rate Hikes, Tighter Supply Continue in Focus

Oil prices rose slightly on Friday as strong employment data raised concerns about higher interest rates in the US, but were poised for a second consecutive week of increases on signs of tighter supply and improving demand.

Brent oil futures rose 0.42% to $76.83 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures added 0.43% to $72.10 a barrel by 13.56 hrs. Bangkok time. Both contracts were anticipated to yield weekly gains between 1.7% and 2.3%.

Rising interest rates in the US are projected to impact economic growth this year, keeping crude consumption and oil prices under limit. A string of hawkish signals from the Fed this week was capped off with Thursday’s robust labor figures. 

The decline in U.S. stockpiles follows Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it will keep a 1 million barrels per day supply cut in place until August. Russia has also said that beginning in August it will reduce oil exports by 500,000 bpd.

The tightness of the oil market is widely anticipated to continue for the rest of the year, which is expected to keep prices stable. However, a weakening macroeconomic outlook casts doubt on the prospects for significant increases in petroleum prices.