Oil prices are falling today, on track for a weekly loss. Concerns about supplies caused by tensions in the Middle East have eased. The report on unemployment in the US for October reinforced expectations that the US central bank (Fed) has finished raising interest rates. The United States is the largest economy in the world and also has the highest consumption of oil.
Brent North Sea crude was down half a percent at $86.44 a barrel around 5:40 p.m. CET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down 0.3 percent at around $82.21 a barrel.
Both types of oil rose by more than two dollars per barrel on Thursday due to optimism in the financial markets. But for the whole week, they are on the way to a loss of around five percent.
“The oil market will watch tensions escalate, especially on the Lebanese border, as Hezbollah attacks increase,Fiona Cincotta of City Index said.
In his first speech today since the start of Israel’s new war with Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praised the radical Palestinian movement for the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,400 mostly civilians and took hundreds hostage.
He further warned that a wider conflict in the Middle East is a real possibility. He stated that further escalation of the situation in Lebanon, which could significantly increase tensions in the region, is conditioned by further escalation in the Gaza Strip.
US job growth slowed more than expected in October, a report from the US Labor Department showed today. Wage inflation has cooled, indicating an easing of labor market conditions. The data reinforced the view that the Fed may not need to raise interest rates further.
The Fed left the key interest rate unchanged this week in a range of 5.25 to 5.50 percent, as expected. The central bank has not ruled out further interest rate hikes if necessary. The Bank of England left interest rates at a 15-year high, supporting oil prices as risk appetite returned to markets.
WTI oil price development (1-hour chart – H1):
Brent oil price development (1-hour chart – H1):
Source: Reuters, ČTK, OPEC, MT4, City Index
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World oil prices are falling today, with the price of Brent North Sea crude falling below $105 a barrel. Markets so…
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