After falling for the past two days, the price of WTI crude oil has bounced back off its lows to trade flat to slightly firmer at the time of this writing on Thursday morning. However, WTI still remains in the red three and half days into the week. As a reminder, oil prices rallied last week and made back a significant chunk of their losses from the week before, but not enough to turn positive on the month. At $61.30 per barrel, WTI thus remains more than $5 or 8% below the high of $66.62 hit on Jan. 25.
Crude oil prices are getting rattled as the fear that rising interest rates will slow down surging U.S. and global demand. High-yielding auctions and Fed minutes, that stated the obvious, was enough to send stocks and oil and the 10-year Note on a wild ride. At first, the market took the Fed's promise of gradual rate increases as a positive but later deemed that the Fed was still hawkish. Yet, the real surprise is that the market is surprised that the Fed can read economic data.