Oil prices hover at 15-month lows on concerns about global banking

2023-03-16 13:06PM UTC

Oil prices declined on Thursday for the fourth straight session, almost touching 15-month lows on concerns about the global banking sector crisis and its impact on the global economy and fuel demand. 


Prices were additionally by pressured by a recent buildup in US crude stocks, in a negative sign for demand in the US.


Global Prices


US crude fell 1.5% to $67.17 a barrel, with a session-high at $68.72, while Brent shed 1.3% to $73.31. 


US crude lost 4.5% on Wednesday, the third loss in a row, hitting 15-month lows at $65.72, while Brent declined 4.25% to $71.71 a barrel, the lowest since December 2021.


Such heavy losses came amid growing concerns about a new global financial crisis starting the Credit Suisse bank, the second largest in Switzerland.


Some analysts believe prices could hit lows of $60, driven by overall market directions rather than oil fundamentals. 


Following the bankruptcy of several local US banks and the issues surrounding the Swiss Credit Suisse bank, investors are growing concerned.  


A major cause behind the recent crisis is the sharp increase of interest  rates worldwide to combat record inflation. 


US Stocks


The Energy Information Administration reported a buildup of US commercial crude stocks by 1.6 million barrels in the week ending March 11, passing estimates of an increase of 1.3 million barrels. 


It's the 11th such a buildup in the last 13 months, sending total stocks to two-year highs. 

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