Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower On Demand Worries

Crude oil prices fell sharply to a nine-week low on Tuesday amid concerns a fresh financial crisis following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank could significantly hurt oil demand.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $3.47 or about 4.7% at $71.33 a barrel.

Brent crude futures settled at $77.45 a barrel today, losing $3.32 or about 4.1%.

Despite the Biden administration's assurance that there won't be a relapse of the financial crisis from 15 years ago, worries of a wider contagion persist, hurting oil prices.

Data from the Labor Department showed consumer price index rose by 0.4% in February after climbing by 0.5% in January.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, increased by 0.5% in February after rising by 0.4% in the previous month. Economists had expected core prices to rise by 0.4%.

The report also showed the annual rate of consumer price growth slowed to 6% in February from 6.4% in January.

The slowdown in year-over-year price growth may help offset recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

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