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Oil rises as market expects rise in US interest rate

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Monday, bolstered by a slightly weaker U.S. dollar and stronger equity markets in a session that seesawed between supply fears and expectations that rise in U.S. interest rates would weaken fuel demand.

Brent crude futures for September settlement rose 68 cents, or 0.66%, to $103.88 a barrel by 1402 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 85 cents, or 0.9%, to $95.55 a barrel.

“A slightly weaker U.S. dollar and improving equity markets are supporting oil,” UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said on Monday.

Oil futures have been volatile in recent weeks as traders have tried to reconcile the possibilities of further interest rate hikes, which could limit economic activity and thus cut fuel demand growth, against tight supply from disruptions in trading of Russian crude because of Western sanctions amid the Ukraine conflict.

“Rising recession fears globally do suggest that gains are likely to be limited in the shorter term, geopolitics aside,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Officials at the Fed have indicated that the central bank would likely raise rates by 75 basis points at its July 26-27 meeting.

China, the world’s second-biggest economy, narrowly missed a contraction in the second quarter, growing just 0.4% year-on-year.

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