Global crude oil prices rise more than 1%

Mmarket sentiment improves as factories in China starts to reopen and government eases its monetary policy

Reuters February 15, 2020

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Friday and were on track for their first weekly gain since early January as investors bet the economic impact of the coronavirus would be short-lived and hoped for further Chinese central bank stimulus to tackle any slowdown.

Brent crude was up $0.78 or 1.4% at $57.12 a barrel by 1158 GMT. It has risen 4.8% since last Friday, its first weekly increase in six weeks.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $0.7 or 1.4% higher at $52.12 a barrel, up 3.6% for the week.

"It would seem in our view that the oil price is on a more positive footing in the past couple of days, with improved sentiment reflected in Asian equity prices holding up," said BNP Paribas analyst Harry Tchilinguirian.

More than 1,350 people have died from the coronavirus in China, which has disrupted the world's second largest economy and shaken energy markets. Brent has fallen 15% since the beginning of the year.

However, market sentiment improved as factories in China started to reopen and the government eased its monetary policy.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2020.

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