Oil prices touched a one and a half month high on Friday amid signs demand for crude was picking up, with China reporting increased refinery runs and rounding out a week of bullish news on the supply front.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil was up 65 cents, or 2.36 per cent, at $28.21 a barrel at 0938 GMT, after reaching $28.75, its highest level since early April. WTI jumped 9 per cent in the previous session.
Brent crude was up 81 cents, or 2.6 per cent at $31.94 a barrel, after touching $32.50 the highest level since April 13. Brent rose nearly 7 per cent on Thursday.
Both contracts are on track for a third consecutive week of gains.
“Further signs of demand recovery together with deepening production cuts from OPEC+ as well as shut-ins and natural declines by non-OPEC+ is helping oil prices to recover,” Bjarne Schieldrop, chief SEB commodities analyst, said.
Amid supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers, bright spots are also emerging on the demand side. Data released on Friday showed China’s daily crude oil use rebounded in April as refineries ramped up operations.
The market mood remains less than euphoric, though, with the coronavirus pandemic far from over and new clusters emerging in some countries where lockdowns have been eased.