Oil Slips for Third Day on Likely ‘Higher for Longer’ US Sates 

Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms and accommodation jack-up rig Haven are pictured in the North Sea, Norway December 3, 2019. (Reuters)
Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms and accommodation jack-up rig Haven are pictured in the North Sea, Norway December 3, 2019. (Reuters)
TT

Oil Slips for Third Day on Likely ‘Higher for Longer’ US Sates 

Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms and accommodation jack-up rig Haven are pictured in the North Sea, Norway December 3, 2019. (Reuters)
Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms and accommodation jack-up rig Haven are pictured in the North Sea, Norway December 3, 2019. (Reuters)

Oil prices fell over 1% on Wednesday, retreating for a third straight day on expectations the Federal Reserve might keep US interest rates higher for longer due to sustained inflation, potentially impacting fuel use in the world's largest consumer.

The market also slipped as US crude oil and gasoline inventories rose last week, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute (API) figures on Tuesday. Analysts expected them to decline.

Brent crude futures were down $1.03, or 1.2%, to $81.85 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) dropped $1.25, or 1.6%, to $77.41 as of 0802 GMT.

"The view on the fundamental outlook remains grim," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, adding that "the timing of a Fed rate cut is ambivalent at best".

Oil settled about 1% lower on Tuesday.

Physical crude markets have been weakening and in another sign that concern of tight prompt supply is easing, the premium of Brent's first-month contract over the second, known as backwardation, is close to its lowest since January.

Fed policymakers said on Tuesday the US central bank should wait several more months to ensure that inflation really is back on track towards its 2% target before cutting interest rates.

Higher borrowing costs can slow economic growth and pressure oil demand.

Investors are awaiting minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting and, following the API data, the latest official US oil inventory figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) due later on Wednesday.

"The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes will be scrutinized for Fed's assessment of bumpy Q1 inflation and clues on the timing and extent of potential interest rate cuts in 2024," ANZ analysts said in a report.

Inflation in Britain fell by less than expected in April and a key core measure barely dropped, figures showed on Wednesday, prompting investors to pull bets on a rate cut next month.



IMF Board Approves Argentina Payout of Almost $800 Mn

Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP
Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP
TT

IMF Board Approves Argentina Payout of Almost $800 Mn

Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP
Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP

The IMF executive board voted to approve a payout of almost $800 million for Argentina as it continues a program of drastic economic reforms under its libertarian president, Javier Milei.

A self-declared "anarcho-capitalist," Milei has vowed to halt Argentina's economic decline and reduce the budget deficit to zero, and has embarked on a program to slash public spending and bring down inflation, which remains at an annual rate of more than 275 percent, AFP reported.

"The Executive Board assessed the program to be firmly on track, with all quantitative performance criteria through end-March 2024 met with margins," the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.

The decision by the IMF executive board to approve the eighth review of its loan program with the Latin American nation will allow for the disbursement of just over $793 million, bringing the total disbursements under the existing program to more than $41 billion.

"The Board emphasized that sustaining the strong progress requires improving the quality of fiscal adjustment, initiating steps towards an enhanced monetary and FX (foreign exchange) policy framework, and implementing the structural agenda," the IMF said.

"Continued efforts to support the vulnerable, broaden political support and ensure agile policymaking will also be necessary," it added.

"The good news continues," Milei wrote on X, sharing the IMF statement.

The payout approval follows an announcement earlier in the day that Argentine inflation came in at 4.2 percent in May, the lowest in two-and-a-half years, according to the INDEC statistics agency.