Oil Prices Inch Up on Strong U.S. Economic Data, Chinese Demand Optimism

On Friday, oil prices inched up for a second day, buoyed by positive U.S. economic data and growing optimism that the reopening of China’s economy would boost demand.

By 10:09 AM (Thai time), Brent futures had risen 28 cents, or 0.32%, to $87.75 per barrel, while U.S. crude had climbed 29 cents, or 0.36%, to $81.30 per barrel.

Both indices climbed more than 1% on Thursday. Brent was on track to notch its second weekly increase if gains continued.

Improving GDP and inflation numbers in the United States gave hope that the Federal Reserve could slow the pace of interest rate hikes, lowering fears of a drop in economic activity and oil consumption.

Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this week that COVID-19 hospitalizations and daily deaths in China have decreased by 72% and 79%, respectively, from their peaks earlier this month. A return to growth in China’s economy is indicated by the data, which bodes well for a rebound in oil demand.

Strong demand for jet fuel and diesel, combined with restricted supplies, has helped prop up crude prices.