February 15, 2023 [Barron’s] – Oil prices declined on Monday on concerns that inflation data this week may encourage the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates higher, weakening energy demand.
West Texas Intermediate WBS00 –1.87% , the U.S. benchmark, slipped 1% to $78.92 a barrel. Brent crude BRN00 –1.70% , the international standard, was down 0.89% at $85.60 a barrel.
The Fed’s aggressive campaign of raising interest rates over the past year has dampened prospects for energy demand this year. The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth to slow significantly.
On the other hand, crude prices may be propped up by tight demand. Oil gained more than 8% last week as Russia said it would cut output by 500,000 barrels a day in retaliation for sanctions from Western nations after it invaded Ukraine. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to lower output last October.