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    WTI recovers to $78.00 amid Middle East geopolitical tensions, Fed Minutes suggest rates have peaked

    Source Fxstreet
    Feb 22, 2024 00:52
    • WTI prices drift higher to the $78.00 mark amid the ongoing Middle East geopolitical conflicts. 
    • The January FOMC Minutes indicated that interest rates in the US are likely to reach their peak. 
    • Crude oil inventories in the US last week rose by 7.168 million barrels vs. 8.52 million barrels prior. 

    Western Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US crude oil benchmark, is trading around $78.00 on Thursday. WTI prices edge higher as Federal Reserve (Fed) officials indicated that interest rates have likely reached their peak and the escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East continue to impact the supplies of crude oil. 

    According to the FOMC Minutes for the January meeting, Fed officials agreed that interest rates in the US have likely peaked while adding that rates should not be cut until they had more confidence that inflation returns to the central bank target sustainably. Investors anticipate the first rate cuts in the June meeting rather than in the March or May meeting. It’s worth noting that lower interest rates typically stimulate economic growth, thereby bolstering the demand for WTI. 

    About a data, crude oil inventories in the US for the week ending February 16 rose by 7.168 million barrels from the previous week of 8.52 million barrels, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API) report on Wednesday. 

    Israel launched airstrikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi attacks on another commercial vessel in the Red Sea on Monday. The United States has advised Israel against launching a ground attack in Rafah without a strategy to safeguard civilians. The rising tension in the Middle East might raise concern about the supplies of crude oil, which boosts WTI prices. 

    Oil traders will focus on the US S&P Global Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for February and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Crude Oil stockpiles report is due on Thursday. These events could significantly impact the USD-denominated WTI price. Oil traders will take cues from the data and find trading opportunities around WTI prices.


     

    Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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