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NEW YORK: Oil prices fell by nearly $1 a barrel on Friday as comments from US central bank officials indicated higher-for-longer interest rates, which could hinder demand from the world’s largest crude consumers.

Brent crude futures settled at $82.79 a barrel, down $1.09, or 1.3%. US West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $78.26 a barrel, down $1.00, or 1.3%.

For the week, Brent logged a 0.2% loss, while WTI recorded a rise of 0.2%. Dallas Federal Reserve President Lorie Logan on Friday said it was unclear whether monetary policy was tight enough to bring down inflation to the US central bank’s 2% goal. Higher interest rates typically slow economic activity and weaken oil demand.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic also told Reuters he thought inflation was likely to slow under current monetary policy, enabling the central bank to begin reducing its policy rate in 2024 - though perhaps by only a quarter of a percentage point and not until the final months of the year.

“The two Fed speakers certainly seemed to put the kibosh on the prospect of rate cuts,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital. The US dollar strengthened after the Fed officials’ comments, making greenback-denominated commodities more expensive for buyers using other currencies. Higher-for-longer US interest rates could also dampen demand.

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