Oil Prices Edge Higher as China Eases some Covid-19 Curbs

Oil prices increased for a third consecutive session in early Monday Asian trading as investors considered the outlook for Chinese demand as the market tightens for the coming winter.

As of 10:47 a.m. (Thai time), West Texas Intermediate futures were trading above $89 a barrel, while Brent crude was trading at $96.38. There is hope for a demand rebound from the world’s largest crude importer after China provided a rescue plan for its faltering property market and relaxed some of its harsh Covid Zero controls.

An uptick in Chinese crude consumption could further tighten the market, which is already bracing for European Union bans on Russian oil imports after the OPEC+ alliance launched a round of supply curbs last month.

Following the new instructions published last week, cities in China have curtailed mass testing and released people from quarantine camps, with further changes to come gradually, officials said on Saturday. But the number of reported viral infections is growing.

On Monday, China reported 16,203 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase since April. It includes a record 407 cases in Beijing.