Today: April 21, 2024
Today: April 21, 2024

Oil prices higher on Fed comments on inflation, Middle East tensions

Share This
LA Post: Oil prices higher on Fed comments on inflation, Middle East tensions
Reuters
Reuters
January 04, 2024

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Friday after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting suggested inflation was under control and as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepared to visit the Middle East to prevent escalation in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Brent crude futures were up 37 cents, or 0.5%, to $77.96 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 50 cents, or 0.7%, to $72.69 at 0229 GMT.

Both benchmarks, which are on track to end the first week of the year higher, had nearly recouped all losses from Thursday, when prices settled lower in a choppy session due to massive weekly gasoline and distillate stock builds.

While the minutes of the Fed meeting did not provide direct clues about when interest rate cuts might commence, the discussions signalled a growing sense that inflation is under control and rising concern about the risks that an "overly restrictive" monetary policy may hold for the economy.

Lower interest rates reduce consumer borrowing costs, which can boost economic growth and demand for oil.

Also adding to supply concerns were developments in the Middle East, where Israeli forces are planning a more targeted approach in the north and further pursuit of Hamas leaders in the south, its defence minister said on Thursday.

Aiming to help prevent the conflict from expanding, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken was set to travel on Thursday to the Middle East for a week of diplomacy, the State Department said.

(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Popular

Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya pulled away late to win the London Marathon women’s race on Sunday and cement her status as the favorite to defend her gold in Paris

15 people suffer minor injuries in tram accident at Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles

A tram accident at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in Los Angeles has injured 15 people

Ryan Garcia knocks Devin Haney down 3 times and hands his amateur rival his first pro loss

Ryan Garcia knocked Devin Haney down three times and handed the WBC super lightweight champion his first loss, winning the fight by majority decision but not the title because he was over the weight limit

Things to know about the NBA playoffs, which start Saturday

The Boston Celtics had almost no trouble at all with the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs this season, going 35-4 against those squads

Related

US commerce secretary downplays chip in advanced Huawei phone

Morning bid: Fragile FX, tech swoon cloud sentiment

Conservative Brazilians laud Elon Musk at rally in support of ex-president Bolsonaro

Tens of thousands of Colombians protest against the leftist president's reform agenda

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer