Oil extend gains as traders weigh virus progress

May 06, 2020: Oil prices on Wednesday built on the previous day's surge, boosted by signs of easing in the coronavirus that is allowing some countries to begin opening their economies.

International benchmark Brent gained 0.45 percent to $31.11 a barrel, reversing early losses, having surged 14 percent above $30 on Tuesday for the first time since mid-April.

US marker West Texas Intermediate climbed 1.1 percent to $24.18 a barrel, after rising 20 percent the previous day.

Oil markets were battered in April as the virus strangled demand owing to business closures and travel restrictions, with US crude falling into negative territory for the first time.

But they have started to rally — WTI has doubled since last Tuesday — as governments from the Pacific to Europe and some US states report lower new infection rates and deaths, and begin easing tough lockdowns from Europe to Asia ease curbs and economies start shuddering back to life.

The rally has also been supported by a deal agreed between top producers to reduce output by almost 10 million barrels a day, which came into effect on May 1.

And there are signs that the massive oversupply in the market is starting to ease as demand slowly comes back.

Energy data provider Genscape said earlier this week that stockpiles at the main US oil depot in Cushing, Oklahoma had increased by only 1.8 million barrels last week following weeks of major rises.

AFP/APP

Posted on: 2020-05-06T09:47:00+05:00

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