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Crude oil prices rose in morning trading on Tuesday, fraying investors’ nerves over the impact of inflation as numerous central banks prepare to announce their latest interest rate moves.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, extended gains for the fourth straight trading session, rising as much as 0.7 percent to $95.13 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. equivalent, rose 1.4 percent increased to $92.76. Both benchmarks hit their highest price in 10 months earlier in the day.
The gains were boosted by news earlier this month that two of the world’s biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, would extend supply cuts through the end of the year.
Traders feared that the rise in oil prices could hamper central banks’ efforts to curb inflation in the U.S. and Europe, underpinning banks’ arguments to keep interest rates higher for longer despite signs that global economic growth is slowing . The United States, Britain, Switzerland and Japan are among the countries whose central banks are meeting this week to set monetary policy.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent, weighed down by losses in healthcare stocks, while France’s Cac 40 fell 0.3 percent and Germany’s Dax fell 0.4 percent.
China’s benchmark CSI 300 index fell 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent. Japan’s Topix rose 0.1 percent as markets reopened after a holiday.
The US Federal Reserve is expected to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday. The vast majority of the market expects to keep interest rates stable in the current target range of between 5.25 percent and 5.5 percent.
But traders are less sure whether ongoing price pressures will prompt U.S. policymakers to raise interest rates again by the end of this year and whether they will hold off on plans to cut rates in 2024.
The latest U.S. consumer price data added to fears that the Fed’s latest push to bring inflation back to its 2 percent target could take longer than expected. Rising energy costs caused the total to exceed forecasts and amounted to 3.7 percent in August.
“The game at the moment is not about actual changes on Wednesday. It’s about what is proposed in the statement,” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management. “I stick with the narrative that we’ll wait for the Fed to tell us something.”
Contracts tracking the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1 percent before the opening bell in New York, while contracts tracking Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index were flat.
The Bank of England will follow the Fed with its own policy meeting on Thursday and is expected to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.5 percent. The Bank of Japan is expected to keep interest rates at their current level of minus 0.1 percent on Friday.
Source : www.ft.com