Oil Futures Settle Higher For 4th Straight Session

Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday, extending gains to a fourth straight session, lifted by reports about several countries planning to ease lockdown restrictions.

Oil was also supported by reports that major oil producers are looking to reduce outputs from this month to bring about some stability in prices amid the weak outlook for near and medium term energy demand.

Meanwhile, worries about a U.S.-China trade war resurfaced following an escalation in tensions between the two countries after the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on China, blaming China for the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.

China’s Global Times said in an editorial that Pompeo was “bluffing” and called on the United States to present its evidence.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $0.61, or about 3.1%, at $20.39 a barrel.

Brent crude futures gained about $0.28, or 1.1%, to $26.72 a barrel.

According to reports, some U.S. states are moving to ease lockdown restrictions today. Italy, Finland and several other countries in Europe have relaxed restrictions.

Several members from OPEC+ have begun reducing outputs since May 1. This move is expected to significantly bring down the demand-supply gap.

According to a Bloomberg news agency survey, OPEC production surged by the most in almost 30 years in April, as countries kept pumping vast amounts of crude even after reaching a price-war truce earlier in the month.

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