Oil prices rise on hopes for China demand boost
Oil prices climbed on Wednesday as markets were optimistic about fuel demand recovery as China continues to ease its COVID-19 restrictions.
Brent futures for February delivery rose 31 cents to $84.64 a barrel, a 0.4% gain, by 0117 GMT. U.S. crude advanced 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $79.75 per barrel. Amid the optimistic market mood both benchmarks hit their highest level in three weeks on Tuesday.
The hopes for a boost to demand for fuel in China come as the world’s second-biggest economy moves towards reopen its borders next month after three years of stringent curbs on movement and businesses to counter the spread of COVID.
Prices were also supported by news that Russia aims to ban oil sales from Feb. 1 to countries that abide by a G7 price cap imposed on Dec. 5, according to a decree by President Vladimir Putin.
Elsewhere U.S. output has been disrupted by an Arctic blast sending temperatures well below freezing, cutting oil and gas production from North Dakota and Texas. Oil refiners on Tuesday were working to resume operations at a dozen facilities knocked offline by the deep freeze, a recovery that in some cases will stretch into January.