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Copper Tip Energy

Oil Rebounds as Traders Weigh China’s Demand, Lower Stockpiles

These translations are done via Google Translate

Oil rebounded as industrial activity in virus-hit China picked up, and a report pointed to a decline in U.S. crude stockpiles. Brent futures climbed above $108 a barrel after tumbling more than 5% on Tuesday. In China’s leading commercial hub of Shanghai, carmakers to supermarkets are now starting to resume their operations as the city seeks to recover from the economic toll of an unprecedented lockdown.

The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude stockpiles declined by about 4.5 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data. If confirmed by government figures due Wednesday, that would be the biggest drop in nationwide holdings since early February.

Brent futures have been bouncy since surging in early March

Oil rallied to the highest level since 2008 last month in the initial aftermath of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, crude has seen volatile trading as investors gauge moves by the U.S. and U.K. to ban Russian imports, as well as the impact of major releases from strategic reserves. Supply outages have also roiled prices, with protest-driven disruptions in Libya the latest to hit the market.

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“Crude oil is trading higher after adding another big trading range yesterday,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S. “Focus is on U.S. inventories with the API seeing a 4.5-million-barrel draw.”

There’s mounting pressure on the European Union to ban Russian crude too, with France now supporting the move. On Tuesday, Russia’s Rosneft PJSC was offering to sell multiple oil cargoes after a long absence from the spot market.

  • WTI for May delivery was 1% higher at $103.48 at 10:26 a.m. in London.
    • The more active June contract added 0.8% to $102.85 a barrel.
  • Brent for June settlement climbed 0.6% to $107.93.

Kazakhstan — another source of recent oil supply disruption — said it expects its main oil-export route to be fully restored this week. Repairs to moorings at the Black Sea port where its crude is shipped from are “basically completed,” and one of the two moorings affected is due to restart full operations Wednesday, news agency Interfax reported, citing the nation’s Energy Minister.

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