March 31, 2023

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Oil prices continue to fall

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Oil prices fell on Friday, hit by expectations of weak global economic growth, rising interest rates and anti-Govt.

The International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for global economic growth this week, while Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that a half-point increase in interest rates would be an option at the bank’s next meeting in May.

At 0810 GMT, Brent crude was down 76 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $ 107.57 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 32 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $ 103.47 a barrel.

“At this point, concerns about China’s growth and the central bank’s monetary austerity restricting US growth appear to be offset by fears that Europe may soon expand sanctions on Russia’s energy imports,” said OANDA analyst Jeffrey Haley.

Two demand expectations from China, the world’s largest oil importer, continued to weigh on the market.

To prevent an outbreak of the latest disease in the country, Shanghai announced new anti-Govt-19 measures, including daily tests, from Friday.

Brent reached $ 139 a barrel last month, its highest level since 2008, but both criteria are on track to record a weekly decline of more than three percent.

Current support for prices comes from a breakdown in production in Libya after a drop of 550,000 barrels a day and a shortage of supplies, which could further reduce supply if the EU imposes a ban on Russian oil.