Signs of an economic recovery in China are offering some support for oil prices before the weekend, allowing Brent to tread water above the psychologically-important $90/bbl level for the time being.
Yet Brent is still adhering to the downtrend that has persisted since June, and remains on course for a third straight weekly decline.
Oil prices have been dragged lower by the red-hot US dollar as well as growing risks for a global recession amid the wave of rate hikes by central bankers.
If the Fed triggers a gargantuan 100bps hike next week, or signals to the markets that the 4.5% peak for the ongoing rate hike cycle is inadequate to tame stubbornly elevated inflation, that may well translate into Brent revisiting its recent cycle low around $87/bbl.
However, further drastic drops in oil benchmark prices may invite stronger supply intervention from OPEC+, with the alliance keen to see prices being restored closer to market fundamentals.