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Oil Prices Rise With Weak US Dollar, Red Sea Unrest

22.02.2024 15:42

Data indicating weakening demand in US, world's biggest oil consuming country, restricts oil price rises.

Oil prices increased on Thursday with a weaker US dollar and concerns over conflicts in the Red Sea, putting global oil transit at risk.

The international benchmark crude Brent traded at $83.34 per barrel at 10.27 a.m. local time (0727 GMT), a 0.37% rise from the closing price of $83.03 a barrel in the previous trading session on Wednesday.

The American benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), traded at the same time at $78.22 per barrel, up 0.40% from Wednesday's close of $77.91 per barrel.

The depreciation in the US dollar against other currencies made oil cheaper for foreign currency traders and boosted trade in support of higher prices. The US dollar index, which measures the US dollar's value against other currencies, fell 0.18% to 103.81.

Tensions are rising in the Red Sea due to Houthi attacks on commercial ships supporting Israel and counterattacks by US and British forces. Western military forces are sustaining attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen, while the Houthis are threatening to retaliate against any attempt to send naval patrols to protect Israeli ships in the Red Sea.

Houthis announced Wednesday that US and British forces carried out 17 attacks on the city of Hudaydah in the west of the country.

On Tuesday, the Houthis said they targeted sensitive areas in the southern Israeli city of Eilat and an Israeli ship in the Gulf of Aden.

Meanwhile, data indicating weakening demand in the US, the world's biggest oil-consuming country, restricted the rise in prices.

The American Petroleum Institute's latest data released on Wednesday revealed that crude oil inventories exceeded market expectations and increased by 7.16 million barrels last week, compared to estimates of a stock rise of 4.29 million barrels. Official stock data from the US Energy Information Administration will be released later in the day.

However, prices came under downward pressure, with analysts assuming that the US Fed will keep interest rates higher for longer. The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting published on Wednesday showed that officials are concerned about the rapid loosening of monetary policy. -

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