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Inflation Fears Drive Oil Prices Higher

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Oil prices continued their upward trend as inflation fears pulled more investors into commodity markets that are seen as a relative safe haven in times of global economic stress. Oil prices are an efficient hedge against inflation, and can be a profitable investment channel in their own right for funds that can cope with higher volatility. “Commodity markets are the best-performing asset class year-to-date, with gains of more than 25%,” Rabobank commodity strategist Ryan Fitzmaurice said in a note Thursday. International benchmark Brent gained another $1.58 per barrel this week to close at $77.25/bbl Thursday, while US domestic price-pin WTI rose 69¢/bbl to end the week at $73.30/bbl. Brent futures are up 37% since the start of the year.

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