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Oil falls on strong dollar and potential Fed rate rises

by Business News Report

Oil prices fell on Monday, hit by a stronger dollar and investor concerns over the possibility of quicker than expected increases to interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Brent crude fell $2.19, or 2.5%, to $85.70 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude  dropped $2.59, or 3%, to $82.56 per barrel. The dollar rose to a two-week high on Monday against a basket of currencies, lifted by the tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine and the possibility of a more hawkish stance from the Fed this week.

Brent had risen more than a $1 earlier in the session on concerns over tight supplies and elevated geopolitical risks in Europe and Middle East. Further escalation of the situation in both Ukraine and the Middle East “justify a risk premium on the oil price because the countries involved – Russia and the UAE – are important members of OPEC+”, said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. Tensions in Ukraine have been increasing for months after Russia massed troops near its borders, fuelling fears of supply disruption in Eastern Europe.

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates intercepted and destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles targeting the Gulf country on Monday after a deadly attack a week earlier. Barclays, meanwhile, has raised its average oil price forecasts by $5 a barrel for this year, citing shrinking spare capacity and elevated geopolitical risks. The bank raised its 2022 average price forecasts to $85 and $82 a barrel for Brent and WTI respectively. Both benchmarks rose for a fifth week in a row last week, gaining about 2% to reach their highest since October 2014. Oil prices are up more than 10% this year on the concerns over tightening supplies and OPEC+ now struggling to hit a targeted monthly output increase of 400,000 barrels per day.


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