WTI Prices Inching Up

WTI Prices Inching Up
WTI Prices Inching Up

Oil prices inched up on Wednesday, as investors awaited the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's June meeting, key economic data from China and government data on US crude stockpiles.
Brent crude futures were up 32 cents, or 0.4%, at $74.61 a barrel. 
US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $69.64 a barrel, up 22 cents, or 0.3%, Reuters reported.
Both benchmarks climbed more than 3% on Tuesday on hopes of rising fuel demand after China's central bank lowered a short-term lending rate.
"It seems that the short-term hot monies speculators are hesitant to bid prices higher due to impending key data and events such as China's industrial production, retail sale, and the housing price index for May due tomorrow, as well as today FOMC's latest dot-plot projections," said Kelvin Wong, a senior market analyst at OANDA, in Singapore.
Market participants expect the US central bank's Federal Open Market Committee will pause rate hikes amid uncertainty on both the economic outlook and the lagged effects of 10 rate hikes since March 2022.
Rate hikes strengthen the dollar, making commodities denominated in the US currency more expensive for holders of other currencies, and weigh on oil prices. A pause in hikes would spur economic growth and oil demand, supporting prices.

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