Oil prices dip after US Fed chair Powell warns of economic pain ahead

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – edged lower in see-saw trading on Friday, as investors digested warnings from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve that there is no quick cure for .

The U.S. economy will need tight monetary policy “for some time” before is under control, which means slower growth, a weaker job market and “some pain” for households and businesses, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair said.

Still, data has shown some small decline in inflation, with the Fed’s closely watched personal consumption expenditures price index falling in July to 6.3% on an annual basis, from 6.8% in June. expectations based on the University of Michigan’s measures also eased in July.

But “a single month’s improvement falls far short of what the Committee will need to see before we are confident that inflation is moving down,” Powell said, referring to the central bank’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

“The market is concerned that Powell sounded a bit more hawkish when it came to inflation,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures group in Chicago.

Brent crude futures fell 1 cent to $99.33 a barrel by 1:13 p.m. EDT (1713 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 33 cents to $92.19 a barrel.

Both contracts rose and fell by $1 throughout the session.

Overall, Brent was on track for a weekly gain of around 2.6%, while WTI was set to rise 1.5%.

Some European Central Bank policymakers want to discuss a 75 basis point interest rate hike at a Sept. 8 policy meeting, even if recession risks loom, as the inflation outlook is deteriorating, five sources with direct knowledge of the process told Reuters.

Price losses were limited as OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia on Monday flagged the possibility of production cuts to offset the return of Iranian barrels to oil should Tehran clinch a nuclear deal with the West.

On Friday, the United Arab Emirates became the latest OPEC+ member to state it is aligned with Saudi Arabia’s thinking on crude markets, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

“The impression remains that Saudi Arabia is not willing to tolerate any price slide below $90. Speculators could view this as an invitation to bet on further price rises without the need to fear any more pronounced price declines,” Commerzbank said in a note.

In U.S. supply, the oil drilling rig count, an indication of future production, rose by 4 to 605 in the week to Aug. 26, Baker Hughes Co said on Friday.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; additional reporting by Rowena Edwards in London, Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Emily Chow in Kuala LumpurEditing by Jason Neely, David Goodman, Susan Fenton and David Gregorio)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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