: U.S. oil futures settle back below $80 a barrel

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Oil futures finished lower on Wednesday, with U.S. prices below $80 a barrel. Prices had spent much of the session trading higher, buoyed by expectations for higher energy demand from China. However, oil turned lower following comments by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. Bullard suggested that despite cooling inflation data and soft retail sales, the Federal Reserve still needs to move quickly to get benchmark interest rates above 5%. That “raised fears that the Fed may raise rates at the 50 basis point clip again,” said Flynn. Traders have been concerned that aggressive U.S. rate hikes could lead to a recession and lower energy demand. The U.S. benchmark WTI crude for February delivery CLG23, -1.21% fell 70 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $79.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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