Oil prices fell below $82 on international markets on Thursday, pressured by fears that an expected hike in interest rates in the US will slow down the economy and demand.
According to the latest data published on OilPrice.com on Friday, the price of Brent oil continued to fall and is currently at $81.05, while Texas WTI crude is trading at $77.32.
On the London market, the price of a barrel was 1.65 dollars lower after noon on Thursday than at the previous closing and amounted to 81.47 dollars. In New York, a barrel was trading at a lower price of $1.61 from $77.55.
Traders focused on a certain rise in US interest rates in May, by a quarter of a percentage point, according to forecasts by economists polled by Reuters, which would mark the end of the most aggressive monetary policy tightening cycle in 40 years.
Their forecast is based on assessing the continued solid pace of employment in the world’s largest economy after the latest data showed only a moderate increase in the number of new jobless claims last week.
Prices were also pressured by statements from sources in trade and logistics circles that oil loadings at ports in western Russia in April were likely to hit their highest level since 2019, hinting at increased supply.
In the meantime, the oil minister announced that Pakistan ordered oil from Russia for the first time at a reduced price, according to a new contract that could include around 100,000 barrels per day.
Interest rates are pushing prices
Concerns about a possible increase in interest rates in the US and increased supply pushed into the background that crude oil stocks in the US fell by 4.6 million barrels last week due to increased processing in refineries and higher exports, the Ministry of Energy announced.
Gasoline inventories rose sharply on disappointing demand.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced separately that on Wednesday, the price of a barrel of the oil basket of its members fell 1.1 dollars to 84.41 dollars.