Oil prices inched up on Monday, a day after China reopened its borders, which boosted the outlook for fuel demand and partially offset global recession fears. Investors also weighed the prospect of a less restrictive monetary policy in the US.
Brent crude futures had risen 99 cents, or 1.26%, to $79.56 a barrel by 12.48 PM (Thai time) while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $74.75 a barrel, up 98 cents, or 1.33%.
Brent and WTI both dropped by more than 8% in the past week, marking their steepest annual weekly declines since 2016.
Expectations for less aggressive interest rate hikes in the US are boosting financial markets while weakening the dollar. As the US dollar falls in value, greenback commodities become more affordable to investors who hold other currencies.
Meanwhile, China opened its borders on Saturday for the first time in three years, improving the outlook for its demand for transportation fuels.
However, there are still worries that the massive surge of passengers could spark another outbreak of Covid cases, stalling China’s economic recovery.