February 8, 2023

Oil fell today, Friday, after rising by the dollar in early trading, and prices were affected by the strength of the dollar and weak economic expectations, but hopes for a rise in Chinese demand limited losses.

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And by 1231 GMT, Brent futures fell 24 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $78.45 a barrel.

Futures for US West Texas Intermediate oil also fell 24 cents, or 0.33 percent, to $73.43 a barrel.

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Both contracts rose by more than a dollar at the start of the session but then fell as the dollar climbed to a one-month high.

A stronger dollar could dampen demand for oil as US-denominated commodities become more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The rise came after economic data showed that there are still more jobs in the United States job market than there are job seekers, which could push the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) to keep raising interest rates at large rates.

Prices were supported by news that China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, expects road, rail, sea and air passenger traffic to double during the Lunar New Year holiday compared to the same period in 2022.

Brent and West Texas contracts are down about nine percent weekly on fears of a global recession.

And Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, cut the price of Arab Light crude for buyers in Asia to its lowest level since November 2021 amid global pressure on oil markets.

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