Weekly Percentage Gains for Brent Crude and U.S. Crude Futures
Despite the dip, Brent and U.S. crude futures are on track for their first weekly percentage gain in four. Brent crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4%, to $76.14 a barrel at 1200 GMT, while U.S. crude futures dipped 29 cents, or 0.4%, to $72.27.
Bank of England Raises Interest Rates
The Bank of England increased its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, resulting in U.K. borrowing costs reaching their highest level since 2008. This marks the 12th consecutive rate rise as the bank aims to curb the fastest inflation of any major economy.
U.S. Inflation Measure Eases, Impact on Oil Demand
On Wednesday, U.S. data indicated that a key inflation measure monitored by the Federal Reserve eased somewhat. This could provide cover for the central bank to pause further increases to interest rates next month, which can impact oil demand.
U.S. Gasoline, Diesel, and Crude Oil Inventories
Government data showed that U.S. gasoline and diesel inventories fell last week due to stronger demand for transport fuels. However, crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly due to a national reserves release and lower exports.
U.S. Debt Ceiling Talks and Market Reactions
Investors are watching the talks on raising the U.S. government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, which began on Wednesday. Republicans continue to demand spending cuts, leading to a standoff that has driven the cost of insuring exposure to U.S. government debt to record highs.
Potential Rally and Oil Support
PVM analyst Tamas Varga believes that once a compromise is reached in the debt ceiling standoff, investors will likely act, and stocks will rally, offering much-needed support for oil prices.