Oil rises above $ 67 on the fifth day as demand for demand increases

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A closed gas pump can be seen in Chuquiaguillo on the outskirts of La Paz

By Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil surged above $ 67 a barrel on Friday, gaining a fifth time as stronger demand prospects and signs of economic recovery in China and the US offset rising COVID-19 infections in several other major economies.

China’s gross domestic product rose 18.3% year over year in the first quarter, official data showed on Friday. On Thursday, the numbers showed a surge in U.S. retail sales and a decline in jobless claims.

“With the improving outlook for the world’s two largest economies, there’s little chance the market’s feel good glow will die out soon,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

rose 26 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 67.20 a barrel by 0950 GMT, a weekly gain of about 7%. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose 16 cents, or 0.3%, 63 cents to $ 63.62.

New US sanctions against Russia, one of the world’s leading oil producers, for alleged electoral influence and hacking could also support prices.

“Although they do not directly affect the oil sector, they could lead to higher financing costs and general uncertainty in trade with Russia,” said Eugen Weinberg from Commerzbank (DE :).

The International Energy Agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) backed the rally this week, revising up forecasts for oil demand growth for 2021. [IEA/M] [OPEC/M]

Wednesday’s numbers also showed that inventories were down 5.9 million barrels.[EIA/S]

Demand hopes offset concerns about rising coronavirus cases in other major economies. India’s infection rate hit a record high while the German Chancellor said on Friday that a third wave of the virus had the country under control.

Oil has rallied from pandemic lows over the past year, aided by record cuts in oil production by OPEC and its allies, a group called OPEC +.

Some of the cuts to OPEC + will be eased starting May, with the group meeting on April 28 to consider further changes to the delivery pact.

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