Sharp Drop in Oil Prices Due to Worries About Recession

Oil prices fell sharply on Friday, following the sharp price losses in the stock markets. As a result, oil prices are on track for the fourth week of declines in a row.

 

Prices are under pressure from concerns about an economic recession due to interest rate hikes by central banks, which could affect demand.

The price of US WTI oil was 3.4 percent lower at USD 80.69 per barrel (159 litres). Brent, the benchmark for oil from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, fell 3 percent to $87.70 a barrel. Prices are now clearly lower than before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. This means that prices are also on track for a decline over the entire third quarter. That would be the first quarterly loss in more than two years.

Due to the strong interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank (ECB) against the high inflation, there are fears that the economy will end up in a recession. In addition, high inflation is also putting pressure on consumer spending. As a result, people can, for example, keep their budget regarding air travel. The expensive dollar also plays a role as oil is traded in the US currency and becomes more expensive for traders with other currencies.

Earlier this month, the oil group OPEC+ announced it would cut production next month to prop up prices. OPEC+ may cut production even further as oil prices continue to weaken.

The falling oil prices are good news for motorists because the price of petrol is falling. The national average suggested retail price for a litre of Euro95 is now 2,090 euros. Earlier this year, the price rose sharply due to the war in Ukraine and records were set at more than 2.50 euros per litre.

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