Oil Prices Hover Near 11-month High

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Oil prices rose on Friday to hover near 11-month highs amid hopes for an economic recovery later in the year.

Benchmark Brent crude rose 0.6 percent to $54.72 a barre, after touching $54.92, the highest since Feb. 26. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.6 percent at $51.11, after having touched its highest level since Feb. 25 at $51.34 earlier in the session.

Both benchmarks remain on track for weekly gains of more than 5 percent after an inventory draw and Saudi Arabia’s decision to make voluntary cuts to its output.

As the coronavirus threat refuses to curb and some countries impose new lockdowns, Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, said earlier this week that it would cut its output by additional 1 million barrels per day in February and March.

Investors are now looking beyond rising coronavirus cases and U.S.-China tensions to focus on hopes for an economic recovery from the pandemic, which has claimed its highest U.S. death toll yet, killing more than 4,000 people in a single day.

China reported the biggest rise in daily Covid-19 cases in more than five months on Thursday, while Japan began its first day under a coronavirus state of emergency today.

The emergency order, which is largely voluntary, will be in force until the first week of February.


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