Oil prices rose on Friday after GDP data from Germany and France beat forecasts.
Coronavirus lockdowns and concerns over a fast-spreading form of the coronavirus initially seen in South Africa limited gains.
Brent crude for April settlement rose half a percent to $55.37 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate futures were up 0.2 percent at $52.46 after the biggest decline in almost a week the previous day.
German GDP grew 0.1 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter, slower than the 8.5 percent expansion posted in the third quarter due to the restrictions imposed to contain he spread of Covid-19, data from Destatis showed. Economists had forecast nil growth.
On a yearly basis, GDP adjusted for calendar effects, declined 3.9 percent after falling 4 percent in the third quarter.
French GDP fell 1.3 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an 18.5 percent rise in the third quarter, Insee said. Economists had forecast a quarterly decline of 4 percent.
Another report from the statistical office revealed that household spending in France surged 23 percent in December from November, when consumption was down 18 percent due to the second lockdown.
On the Covid-19 front, a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus identified in South Africa has been detected for the first time on U.S. soil in two adults with no travel history and no connection to each other, media reports said.
“The arrival of the SARS-CoV-2 variant in our state is an important reminder to all South Carolinians that the fight against this deadly virus is far from over,” said Brannon Traxler, the interim public health director of the state of South Carolina.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com