Oil gains on US stimulus hopes and demand recovery

Signs of recovering Asian oil demand as economies reopen also boost prices

Reuters August 11, 2020
Prices also found support from a rally in European stocks, which rose for a third straight session on Tuesday. PHOTO: REUTERS


Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by expectations of US economic stimulus to support the world’s biggest oil consumer as well as a rebound in Asian demand as economies reopen.

Brent crude added $0.6, or 1.3%, to $45.59 a barrel by 1218 GMT. West Texas Intermediate US crude CLc1 rose $0.77, or 1.8%, to $42.71.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that top congressional Democrats want to meet him to discuss coronavirus-related economic relief after talks broke down last week.

“A deal on the support package is not a foregone conclusion, but if a mutually acceptable accord is struck, stocks and oil will get a short-term boost,” said Tamas Varga of oil brokerage PVM.

Signs of recovering Asian oil demand also boosted prices.

On Sunday, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said he expects oil demand to rebound in Asia as economies open up.

China’s factory deflation eased in July, driven by a rise in global oil prices and as industrial activity climbed back towards pre-coronavirus levels, adding to signs of recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

Prices also found support from a rally in European stocks, which rose for a third straight session on Tuesday as automakers gained on firm Chinese sales data.

US passenger airline traffic, which was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, was down 80% year-on-year in June, official figures showed, but was still nearly twice the levels in May.

Energy companies have begun taking back millions of barrels of oil from the US government’s emergency stockpile after renting storage to manage a glut of crude this spring after energy demand collapsed during coronavirus lockdowns, a Department of Energy website showed on Monday.


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