Africa-Press – Kenya. Oil prices declined more than 1% on Thursday over demand concerns as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) held its key interest rate steady and forecast fewer cuts next year.
International benchmark crude Brent traded at $92.36 per barrel at 10.31 a.m. local time (0731 GMT), a 1.25% loss from the closing price of $93.53 a barrel in the previous trading session on Wednesday.
The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at the same time at $88.50 per barrel, down 1.29% from the previous session’s close of $89.66 per barrel.
Both benchmarks recorded the steepest falls of the month, having reached 10-month highs on supply concerns after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended curbs until the end of the year.
On Wednesday, prices declined as investors profited from high price levels before the US Fed’s announcement, which was in line with market expectations.
The Federal Reserve maintained its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday but hinted that another increase is likely this year due to persistently high inflation and a robust economy.
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank will move “carefully” in determining the extent of monetary policy tightening based on future macroeconomic data.
The Fed decision overshadowed a decline in US crude oil stockpiles that suppressed investor demand concerns.
According to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, US commercial crude oil inventories fell by around 2.1 million barrels compared to the American Petroleum Institute’s expectation of a drop of around 5.2 million barrels.