Crude oil futures were lower in mid-morning trade in Asia Jan. 6, tracking the overall bearish tone in financial markets, after the US Federal Reserve caught investors off-guard with plans to tighten monetary policy faster than expected.

At 10:16 am Singapore time (0216 GMT), the ICE March Brent futures contract was down 87 cents/b (1.08%) from the previous close at $79.93/b, snapping three days of gains that took it momentarily above the key $80/b handle. The NYMEX February light sweet crude contract fell 74 cents/b (0.95%) at $77.11/b. “Markets were rocked by a hawkish FOMC minutes overnight, after the Fed indicated they may raise their key rate earlier than previously anticipated. Asian markets may face a tumultuous trading session on the back of hawkish FOMC minutes,” said OCBC Treasury Research analysts in a Jan. 6 […]