Oil climbs on China’s hopes of recovering fuel demand

Oct 17 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday after China rolled out liquidity measures to help its pandemic-hit economy, fueling hopes of a better outlook for fuel demand from the world’s biggest crude importer.

Brent crude futures were up 81[ads1] cents, or 0.88%, at $92.44 a barrel by 0642 GMT, recovering from a 6.4% drop last week. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $86.33 a barrel, up 72 cents, or 0.84%, after falling 7.6% last week.

China’s central bank rolled over maturing medium-term policy loans while keeping interest rates unchanged for a second month on Monday.

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Analysts said the full rollover is a signal that the central bank will continue to maintain loose monetary policy. read more

The country also pledged to significantly increase domestic energy supply capacity and increase risk controls for key commodities, including coal, oil and gas and electricity, a senior National Energy Administration official said Monday.

China will further increase reserve capacity for key raw materials, another government official said at a news conference in Beijing. read more

Oil found support from a combination of factors, including Chinese President Xi Jinping’s comments at the party congress that assured an accommodative policy for the economy, a positive sign on the outlook for demand, CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng said. read more

China is expected to release trade and economic data this week. Although third-quarter GDP growth may rebound from the previous quarter, President Xi’s strict COVID-19 policies have the world’s No. 2 economy facing what is likely to be its worst year in nearly half a century. read more

Looking ahead, oil prices are expected to remain volatile as production cuts by OPEC+ will tighten supplies ahead of the EU embargo on Russian oil, while a strong US dollar and further rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve limit price gains.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Friday that inflation had become “harmful” and difficult to arrest, justifying continued “frontloading” through larger increases of three-quarters of a percentage point. read more

Member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, including Russia, lined up on Sunday to support the sharp output cut agreed this month after the White House stepped up a war of words with Saudi Arabia, accusing Riyadh of coercing . other nations to support the move. read more

OPEC+ pledged on October 5 to cut production by 2 million barrels per day, which would lead to a real drop of around 1 million barrels per day as some members are already producing below their targets.

Despite this, top exporter Saudi Arabia will keep exports to key Asian markets stable in November.

“Tighter inventories of oil and oil products along with looming supply risks should keep prices volatile,” analysts at ANZ Research said in a note.

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Reporting by Mohi Narayan in New Delhi and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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