U.S. benchmark crude-oil prices on Thursday marked their highest settlement in two weeks. “Optimism surrounding China’s economic recovery are offsetting more hot inflation data in Europe and the U.S.,” which sparked further hawkish money flows in morning trade, said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. “Sticky high inflation” is going to prompt more action from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, and while that is a negative for demand expectations, the Chinese government is “simultaneously raising their growth outlook for 2023, and considerably so,” he said. That’s “being seen as a balancing factor for any economic slowdown the West.” April West Texas Intermediate crude CLJ23 climbed 47 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $78.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Based on the front-month contract, that was the highest finish since Feb. 16, FactSet data show.
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