Oil slips for third session on prospect of prolonged high U.S. Rates

Oil slips for third session on prospect of prolonged high U.S. Rates

Shafaq News/Oil prices declined for the third consecutive session on Wednesday amid expectations that the Federal Reserve might maintain higher U.S. interest rates for an extended period due to persistent inflation.

Brent crude futures dropped 43 cents, or 0.5%, to $82.45 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 50 cents, or 0.6%, to $78.16 per barrel. Both benchmarks settled about 1% lower on Tuesday.

Federal Reserve policymakers indicated on Tuesday that the U.S. central bank should wait several more months to ensure inflation is firmly on track to its 2% target before considering interest rate cuts.

Higher borrowing costs can decelerate economic growth and reduce oil demand.

U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories increased last week, while distillate stocks decreased, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute (API) data on Tuesday.

Ahead of this weekend's Memorial Day holiday, which marks the start of the U.S. peak summer driving season, retail gasoline prices have fallen for the fourth consecutive week. U.S. diesel prices, crucial for the industrial sector and transportation, have also decreased.

Investors are awaiting the release of minutes from the Fed’s last policy meeting and weekly U.S. oil inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday.

In the euro zone, a rate cut is anticipated on June 6 amid a more positive economic outlook. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde expressed confidence in an interview aired on Tuesday, stating she is "really confident" that euro zone inflation is under control.

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