Oil extended losses to drift below $71 a barrel on Friday, with demand worries and renewed concerns over the return of Iranian barrels weighing on the commodity.

Also, the Federal Reserve’s plan for future interest-rate hikes propelled the dollar higher and provided an excuse to take profit.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures dropped half a percent to $70.72 a barrel, after having lost 1.5 percent on Thursday – the biggest drop in four weeks.

Brent crude futures for August settlement were down 0.7 percent at $72.55 per barrel.

A stronger dollar weighed broadly across commodities after the Federal Reserve signaled that rates will rise sooner and faster.

With the upside risks to inflation starting to pick up, Fed officials signaled they expect two increases by the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, demand worries resurfaced after new coronavirus cases jumped in Britain.

Public Health England data showed today that there had been 33,630 new cases of the Delta variant first identified in India in the week to June 16, taking the number of confirmed cases to 75,953, a 79 percent increase on the previous total.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed his plans to lift most remaining COVID-19 restrictions by a month.

Investors are also tracking the situation in Iran as voters go to the polls in a presidential election to pick a replacement for Hassan Rouhani.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

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