Oil Prices Rise on US Rate Concerns, China Property Sector Trouble

Oil prices poised to end a seven-week winning streak on Friday as fears over China’s slowing economic growth and U.S. interest rate hikes overcame tight supplies.

West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) increased 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $80.61 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $84.12 a barrel as of 13.11 hrs. Bangkok time.

Oil prices have risen considerably in recent weeks on supply worries, but the U.S. Federal Reserve’s focus on controlling inflation amid stronger-than-expected economic statistics helped limit prices.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported a decline in new claims for unemployment insurance, a sign that the tight labor market may force the Fed to maintain its monetary policy of raising interest rates for a longer period of time.

In addition, China’s economy, the world’s second-largest consumer of oil, has shown a steep fall since the second quarter, adding to the growing list of concerns.

Investors are worried about a possible domino effect as a result of China’s weakening economy and property problem.

According to market watchers, oil prices have been maintained by tightened supply due to OPEC+ production cuts and rising demand, primarily from increased travel and industrial activity in the U.S.