Crude Price Steady as Demand Cutback from China Expected to See Rebound

Crude oil prices remained stable on Friday as worries ease of demand cutback from China after the country lifts some COVID-19 restrictions.

The WTI is trading around $110 a barrel and the Brent is trading around $110 a barrel.

Gains in oil have been limited this week with the Brent and U.S. benchmarks mostly trading in a range due to the uncertain path of demand.

“If U.S. growth data continues to sour, oil prices could get caught up in the negative stock market feedback loop,” SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said in a client note.

Shanghai authorities lifted some COVID-19 lockdowns which could lead to rebound in Chinese oil demand.

In the United States, Americans were getting back behind the wheel, despite higher fuel prices, according to a report from the Federal Highway Administration on vehicle miles.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House passed a bill that allows the president to issue an energy emergency declaration, making it unlawful for companies to excessively increase gasoline and home fuel prices.

The possibility of a European Union ban on Russian oil imports has helped support prices. This month the EU proposed a new package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

Those sanctions would include a total ban on oil imports in six months’ time, but the measures have not yet been adopted, with Hungary among the most vocal critics of the plan.