Crude oil prices rise on strong US economic data, hope for Chinese demand
Oil prices rose slightly on Friday, extending a second session of strong US economic data and bolstering hopes that China's economic reopening will boost demand.
Brent futures were up 30 cents, or 0.3%, at $87.66 a barrel by 0113 GMT, while U.S. crude was up 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $81.22 a barrel.
Both benchmarks rose more than 1% on Thursday. If the rally is anything to go by, Brent made his second weekly gain. Improving data on gross domestic product and inflation in the United States gave hope that the Federal Reserve of the United States can slow the pace of interest rate growth, allaying fears of a slowdown in economic activity and the resulting demand for oil. Meanwhile, the number of seriously ill COVID-19 cases in China is down 72% from a peak earlier this month, while daily deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients are 79% below their peak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week. The numbers point to a normalization of China's economy, raising expectations of a recovery in oil demand.
Oil prices were also supported by strong demand for jet fuel and diesel as supply remained tight. In addition, the European Commission is proposing to the European Union to impose $100 per barrel on Russian premium oil products such as diesel and $45 per barrel on discount products such as heating oil, EU officials said on Thursday.
However, gains in US crude oil in particular were limited by a 4.2-million-barrel increase in Cushing inventories at the NYMEX oil futures price center earlier this week.