Oil prices fell about 1% to a five-week low on Tuesday as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) sparked fears of a fresh financial crisis that could reduce future oil demand.
Brent futures were down 51 cents, or 0.6%, to $80.26 a barrel by 1536 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 56 cents, or 0.8%, to $74.24.
That puts Brent on track for its lowest close since Feb 3 and WTI on track for its lowest close since Feb 22.
Shockwaves from SVB’s collapse triggered big moves in bank shares on Tuesday as investors fretted over the financial health of some lenders, in spite of assurances from US President Joe Biden and other global policymakers.
The oil “complex is drafting back down to around yesterday’s low off US dollar strength and mounting US financial concerns,” analysts at energy consulting firm Ritterbusch and Associates told customers in a note.
US consumer prices increased solidly in February as Americans faced persistently higher costs for rents and food, posing a dilemma for the Federal Reserve (Fed), whose fight against inflation has been complicated by the collapse of two regional banks. Wall Street’s main stock indexes, meanwhile, rose.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2023.