By: Reuters – Oil rose on Thursday, extending a rally of nearly 3% in the previous session, as optimism over record U.S. crude oil exports and signs that recession fears are abating outweighed concern over slack demand in China.
Figures on Wednesday showed record U.S. crude oil exports, a hopeful sign for demand. EIA/ Speculation that central banks could be coming toward the end of their rate-hiking cycles added support, after the European Central bank raised rates by 75 basis points.
“It appears that recession concerns have abated lately but continuously betting on healthy economic growth will prove foolhardy,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at oil broker PVM.
Brent crude rose 87 cents, or 0.9%, to $96.56 a barrel by 1354 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained $1.60, or 1.8%, to $89.51.
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Worries about Chinese demand limited the rally. Global investors dumped Chinese assets early this week on fears about growth, with the economy beset by a zero-COVID policy, a property crisis, and falling market confidence. China is the world’s biggest energy consumer.
“Concerns that China’s muddled economic policies may continue under President Xi Jinping’s growing power weighed on sentiment,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.
Weakness earlier in the session in the U.S. dollar, which touched a one-month low, lent oil support, although the U.S. currency later rallied. A weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies and tends to reflect a greater investor appetite for risk assets.
Crude has slumped on economic concerns after surging earlier this year after Russia invaded Ukraine, with Brent coming close to its all-time high of $147 in March.
U.S. and Western officials are finalizing plans to impose a cap on Russian oil prices amid a warning from the World Bank that any plan will need the active participation of emerging market economies to be effective.