Oil prices edge higher as IEA's Birol talks up China demand outlook


Shafq News / Oil prices slightly inched up on Monday after falling 8% last week to more than three-week lows as concerns that slower growth in major economies may limit fuel consumption outweighed signs of a demand recovery in China, the world's top oil importer.

Brent crude futures rose 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $80.13 a barrel at 0502 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 9 cents, or 0.1% higher, to $73.48 a barrel.

Last Friday, WTI and Brent slid 3% after strong U.S. jobs data raised concerns that the Federal Reserve would keep raising interest rates, which in turn boosted the dollar. The stronger greenback typically reduces demand for dollar-denominated oil from buyers paying with other currencies.

While recession fears dominated the market last week, on Sunday International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol highlighted that China's recovery remains a key driver for oil prices.

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