Shafaq News / Oil prices eased on Friday as hot U.S. inflation fanned worries about aggressive interest rate hikes and investors await the outcome of U.S.-Iran talks that could lead to increased global crude supply.
Brent crude futures fell 58 cents, or 0.6%, to $90.83 a barrel at 0730 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude declined 45 cents, or 0.5%, to $89.43 a barrel.
The benchmark oil prices are also in line for their first weekly decline after seven consecutive weekly gains, though both contracts had earlier climbed to a seven-year high.
"Yesterday's inflation number likely puts more pressure on the U.S. Fed to act more aggressively with rate hikes. This expectation is weighing on oil and the broader commodities complex somewhat," said Warren Patterson, ING's head of commodities research.
"In addition, Iranian nuclear talks appear to be progressing, which is another factor holding prices back."
Tight supply was seen in U.S. crude oil stockpiles (USOILC=ECI), which unexpectedly fell 4.8 million barrels in the week to Feb. 4 to 410.4 million barrels as overall refined product demand reached an all-time record, said the Energy Information Administration. This compares with an analyst forecast of a 369,000-barrel rise.
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that world oil demand might rise even more steeply this year. The group forecast a gain of 4.15 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, as the global economy posts a strong recovery from the pandemic.