Oil opens mixed as economic fears pressure prices




  • In Business
  • 2022-12-07 01:56:46Z
  • By Reuters
 

By Laura Sanicola

(Reuters) - Oil prices were mixed in early Asian trade on Wednesday after falling to their lowest settlement levels this year as economic uncertainty and the prospect of higher interest rates pressured prices.

Brent crude futures rose 17 cents, or 0.2%, at 0107 GMT to $79.52 a barrel. Last session the benchmark fell below $80 for the second time in 2022.

U.S. crude futures fell 3 cents to $74.22 a barrel.

Tuesday's slump was the largest daily decline in Brent prices since late September, which have traded in a $62 range this year.

Wall Street benchmarks also tumbled on Tuesday on uncertainty around the direction of Federal Reserve rate hikes and further talk of a looming recession.

These fears are sparked by strong economic data or hawkish signals from other policymakers.

Data released on Monday showing U.S. services industry activity unexpectedly picked up in November and last week's robust U.S. payrolls report raised doubts about how soon the Fed might ease monetary policy.

Oil prices have dropped by more than 1% for three straight sessions, giving up most of their gains for the year.

Service-sector activity in China has hit a six-month low, and European economies have slowed due to the high cost of energy and rising interest rates.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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