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Oil Prices Fall On Demand Concerns

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Oil prices fell on Friday amid fears over falling energy demand, as Shanghai extended the Covid-19 lockdown to April 26.

The Fed’s increasingly aggressive stance on tightening monetary policy also rattled global markets.

Benchmark Brent crude futures fell 1.4 percent, to $106.79 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 1.5 percent at $102.20.

Shanghai has extended the Covid-19 lockdown to April 26 as the eastern metropolis of 26 million reported 11 more deaths on Thursday, taking the toll in the current outbreak to 36.

While some firms have restarted operations in the city, many companies still face the challenges of labor shortages and logistical difficulties, media reports said.

Growth worries also returned to the fore after Fed Chair Jerome Powell hinted at more aggressive rate hikes to cool inflation.

During a seminar sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday, Powell said he saw merit in “front-end loading” policy moves, including a 50 basis point rate hike at the May FOMC meeting.

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