Oil steady as market awaits key US inflation data

Oil prices were mostly steady on Wednesday as the market waited for U.S. inflation data later in the day that will likely influence the Federal Reserve's policy on future interest rate hikes, News.Az reports citing Reuters. 

Brent crude edged up 3 cents to $85.64 a barrel as of 0403 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate dipped 2 cents to $81.51 a barrel.

Prices had risen about 2% on Tuesday amid optimism that the U.S. Federal Reserve is getting closer to ending its cycle of interest rate hikes, making dollar-priced oil cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

The U.S. consumer price index is expected to show March core inflation rose 0.4% on a monthly basis and 5.6% year-on-year, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said on Tuesday that he feels the U.S. central bank may soon be done raising interest rates, while Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said he believes inflation, now at a rate of 5% by the Fed's preferred measure, will get to "the mid-threes" by the end of this year.


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