Picture: 123RF/PAVEL IGNATOV
Picture: 123RF/PAVEL IGNATOV

London — Oil rose above $67 a barrel on Friday, gaining for a fifth session, as a stronger demand outlook and signs of economic recovery in China and the US offset rising Covid-19 infections in some other major economies.

China’s GDP jumped 18.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday. On Thursday, figures showed a rise in US retail sales and a drop in unemployment claims.

“Given the improving outlook for the world’s two biggest economies, there is little chance of the market’s feel-good glow being extinguished any time soon,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Brent crude rose 28c, or 0.4%, to $67.22 a barrel at 7.50am GMT, heading for a weekly gain of about 7%. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 20c, or 0.3%, to $63.66.

Helping prices rally this week, reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and oil cartel Opec both made upward revisions to oil demand growth forecasts for 2021.

Figures on Wednesday also showed US crude inventories fell by 5.9-million barrels.

Demand hopes offset concern about rising coronavirus cases in other big economies. India’s infection rate hit a record while Germany’s chancellor on Friday said a third virus wave has the country in its grip.

Oil has recovered from record lows hit in 2020 as demand collapsed due to the pandemic. It has been helped by record cuts to oil output by Opec and its allied producers (Opec+) producers.

Opec+ agreed on April 1 to ease its oil output cuts from May to July and will meet to consider further tweaks on April 28. 

Reuters

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