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Oil prices lower for third day on demand concerns

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Oil prices lower for third day on demand concerns

ISLAMABAD
Crude oil prices came down on demand concerns for the third consecutive session on Wednesday amid weaker economic data from China and further delay in the interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.
Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, slipped $0.78 (-0.87 percent) to reach $89.24 a barrel. Similarly, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the main oil benchmark for North America, went down by $0.69 (-0.81 percent) to $84.67 a barrel.
On the other hand, the price of Arab Light decreased by $0.67 (-0.73 percent) to reach $90.83 a barrel. Similarly, the price of Russian Sokol decreased by $0.72 (-0.86 percent) to $82.55 a barrel. On the other hand, the price for Opec Basket increased by $0.61 (+0.68 percent) to $90.18 a barrel.
On the supply side, Brent reached $92.18 on Friday, its highest level since October on concerns that Iran would respond to Israel’s April 1 strike on its embassy compound in Damascus. But prices retreated on Monday after the Iranian counter-attack on Israel over the weekend proved less damaging than anticipated.
Oil prices have softened this week as economic headwinds curb gains from geopolitical tensions, with markets eyeing how Israel might respond to Iran’s weekend attack. Analysts do not expect Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone strike on Israel to prompt dramatic sanctions from the United States on Iran’s oil exports.
Top US Federal Reserve officials including Chair Jerome Powell backed away on Tuesday from providing any guidance on when interest rates may be cut, dashing investors’ hopes for meaningful reductions in borrowing costs this year. In China, the world’s biggest oil importer, the economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, but several other indicators showed that demand at home remains frail.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US intends to hit Iran with new sanctions in coming days due to its unprecedented attack on Israel, and that these actions could seek to reduce Iran’s capacity to export oil.