Oil prices fall as pandemic trumps Chinese, US data

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In this news, we discuss the Oil prices fall as pandemic trumps Chinese, US data

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LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Thursday as bullish signals from Chinese import data and US crude oil inventory drawdowns were offset by soaring coronavirus cases in Europe and further lockdowns in China .

Brent crude oil futures fell 36 cents to $ 55.70 a barrel at 9:17 a.m. GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 26 cents to $ 52.65.

Brent’s six-month pullback, according to which contracts for onward delivery are cheaper, fell to its lowest since Jan. 5, indicating easing bullish sentiment.

China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, reported its biggest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in more than 10 months, as infections in a northeastern province nearly tripled.

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer lockdowns against coronaviruses, vaccinations are not expected to have a significant impact in the coming months.

Oil producers face an unprecedented challenge of balancing supply and demand, as factors such as the pace and response to COVID-19 vaccines cloud the outlook, an official from the International Agency for Human Rights has said. energy (AIE).

“This (price) retracement, although it may last longer than a day, should not be prolonged and violent,” said PVM analyst Tamas Varga, noting that Saudi Arabia is strangling the supply of oil from some Asian buyers.

Supporting prices, China’s total crude oil imports rose 7.3% in 2020 despite the coronavirus shock, with record arrivals in the second and third quarters as refineries expanded and low prices encouraged storage, according to customs data.

Also bottoming prices, U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than expected last week, although gasoline and distillate inventories rose as refiners increased production to the highest level since August, said. Wednesday the Energy Information Administration. [EIA/S]

Boosting hopes of increased demand for oil was a major U.S. COVID-19 relief program, which President-elect Joe Biden is due to unveil on Thursday.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in SINGAPORE; Edited by David Goodman

Original © Thomson Reuters

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