Oil Prices Falls sharply as Weak Econmic Data Dominates Markets

Oil prices have fallen sharply this week despite the recent OPEC+ production cuts and the ongoing war in Ukraine as weak economic sentiment continues to weigh on global markets.

Over the past few weeks, oil prices have lost forward momentum after voluntary output cuts (covered in previous blogs) failed to counter worries about demand linked to a weakening global economic backdrop.

Earlier this week fresh data from China showed  that manufacturing activity in the world’s largest oil importer shrank in March, contrary to expectations of another expansion. In more worrying signs, U.S. diesel demand  also appears to be  on the decline, suggesting a contraction in key industries such as freight transport, which has intensified fears of a recession in the world’s biggest economy as consumers and businesses reduce spending.

Markets we also rattled following the well-publicised collapse of First Republic Bank which only continues to fuel the negative sentiment in a week where the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point.  This latest increase will be the 10th consecutive hike in just over a year and now more likely the Bank of England and the European Central bank will follow a similar path as it attempts to tame inflationary headwinds.

However, also proves good news for fuel cards users who can expect a welcome fall in the region 3 - 4 pence per litre for next week.


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