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Market Extra: Will falling oil prices keep the Fed from hiking rates?

Depressed energy prices are stoking worries that the recent raft of weak inflation numbers may be more than “transitory,” which, analysts say, could derail the Fed’s timetable for future interest-rate increases.

A buildup in oil inventories has helped to push prices into bear-market territory as the coordinated production cuts of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries fails to blunt growing output from stateside frackers. The tectonic shifts in the crude market have prompted strategists at the Macquarie Group to lower their forecasts for oil prices, suggesting a return to the 2017 peak of $54 a barrel in the next few years is unlikely.

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