Oil Prices Advance Despite Jump in Coronavirus Cases

Oil Prices Advance Despite Jump in Coronavirus Cases
Oil Prices Advance Despite Jump in Coronavirus Cases

Oil prices rose on Friday, extending gains on optimism about a recovery in fuel demand worldwide, despite a surge in coronavirus infections worldwide and signs of a revival in US crude production.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 25 cents, or 0.7%, to $38.97 but were on track for a slight drop for the week, news wires reported. Brent crude futures rose 32 cents, or 0.8%, to $41.37 and were also heading for a small decline for the week.
Overall, commodities markets were taking a positive view on the global recovery on Friday despite worries about coronavirus flare-ups, said Avtar Sandu, senior manager commodities at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
“Optimism about recovering fuel demand worldwide has been supportive of prices despite an increase in total coronavirus infections worldwide and amid signs that US crude production from shale would grow,” he said.
Analysts said satellite data showing a strong pick-up in traffic in China, Europe and across the United States pointed to an improvement in fuel demand. Congestion in Shanghai in the past few weeks was higher than in the same period last year, while in Moscow traffic was back to last year’s levels, data provided to Reuters by location Technology Company TomTom showed.

However, there are fears a spike in Covid-19 infections in southern US states could stall the demand recovery, especially as some of those states, such as Florida and Texas, are among the biggest gasoline consumers.

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