Oil retreated for the first time in four days on the prospect of tightening U.S. monetary policy, and on signs Chinese demand will weaken due to the worst Covid-19 outbreak since the initial flareup in Wuhan. Futures in New York fell to trade near $77 a barrel after rising 3.5% over the past three sessions. Federal Reserve officials said a strengthening economy and higher inflation could lead to earlier and faster interest-rate increases than previously expected, according to minutes published Wednesday. China has locked down some cities to try and stem the spread of the virus. Russia and its allies, meanwhile, said they would send troops to OPEC+ producer Kazakhstan to help quell protests that posed the biggest challenge to the central Asian country‚Äôs leadership in decades. Oil ended 2021 on a strong footing as the rollout of vaccines helped economies to reopen, boosting energy demand and allowing OPEC+ […]