Oil stable as market awaits signs of China demand recovery

Oil stable as market awaits signs of China demand recovery

Shafaq News/ Oil prices were little changed on Friday, with major benchmarks headed for their second straight week of losses, as the market awaited further signs of fuel demand recovery in China to offset looming slumps in other major economies.

Brent crude futures dipped 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $82.01 a barrel by 0445 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slid 17 cents, or 0.2%, to $75.71.

So far this week, Brent has dropped more than 5%, extending a 1% loss from the previous week. WTI has also fallen by nearly 5%, after sliding 2% in the prior week.

Mixed signals on fuel demand recovery in China, the world's top oil importer, have kept a lid prices.

ANZ analysts pointed to a sharp jump in traffic in China's 15 largest cities following the Lunar New Year holiday, but also noted that Chinese traders had been "relatively absent".

The prospect of an economic rebound in China after COVID-19 curbs eased has buoyed the oil market so far this year, along with a weaker dollar that makes the commodity cheaper for those holding other currencies.

The dollar has fallen because aggressive interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve are no longer expected. Central banks for other major economies, though, are continuing with bigger rate increases even as inflation has eased.

(Reuters )

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