Crude oil futures traded lower on Thursday morning as the US Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, hinted at two more interest rate hikes by the end of the year.
At 9.54 am on Thursday, August Brent oil futures were at $76.86, down by 0.34 per cent; and August crude oil futures on WTI were at $72.28, down by 0.34 per cent.
July crude oil futures were trading at ₹5,939 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹5,953, down by 0.24 per cent; and August futures were trading at ₹5,962 as against the previous close of ₹5,975, down by 0.22 per cent.
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Interest rare increase
Replying to a query in a hearing before the US House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Powell said a majority of policymakers see two more interest rate increases of 25 basis points each by the end of the year.
He said the outlook for two more interest rate hikes has been included in the Summary of Economic Projections released by the US Fed Reserve recently.
The US is a major consumer of crude oil in the world market, and any increase in the interest rate will impact the demand for the commodity.
However, the industry data on crude oil inventories in the US helped limit the further drop in the price of the commodity. Market reports that cited the data from American Petroleum Institute said crude oil inventories in the US declined by 1.24 million barrels for the week ending June 16.
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The official weekly petroleum status report by the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) is expected later in the day. This official data will give an exact picture of the crude oil inventories and the products in the US for the week ending June 16.
Natural gas futures
July natural gas futures were trading at ₹219.70 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹218, up by 0.78 per cent.
On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), July dhaniya contracts were trading at ₹6,500 in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹6,444, up by 0.87 per cent.
July jeera futures were trading at ₹54,400 on NCDEX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹53,640, up by 1.42 per cent.
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