Crude oil prices slide amid rate hike fears

Crude oil prices have slipped in response to growing concerns over higher interest rates and a dampening market sentiment worldwide.

At last look early Wednesday, Brent crude slipped by 0.8% to $71.65 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude saw a similar drop of 0.8%, settling at $67.14 per barrel. Market analysts expressed heightened apprehension that the release of better-than-expected figures on new home sales and durable goods orders might prompt the US Federal Reserve to further raise rates.

The unease surrounding interest rate hikes overshadowed discussions about supply-side issues. Recent maintenance work in Russia led to a decrease in crude exports by nearly 1 million barrels per day. Although larger oil producers in Russia observed increases in well data, smaller ones reduced their activity levels, creating a mixed scenario. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is poised to curtail output in July.

Adding to the global concerns, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde reportedly stated that the central bank is unlikely to declare an end to interest rate increases in the foreseeable future, reinforcing the prevailing caution.