Crude oil prices rose Thursday, as investors hoped many of the world’s biggest oil producers would cut more output, Kallanish Energy reports.
Said investors largely downplayed forecasts of slumping demand due to the coronavirus outbreak in the world’s top oil importer, China.
Brent crude rose 55 cents, or 0.99%, to settle at $56.34 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 25 cents, or 0.49%, to settle at $51.42/Bbl.
Opec lowered its 2020 demand forecast for its crude by 200,000 barrels per day, prompting expectations Opec+, which includes most Opec members, plus 10 non-Opec producers led by Russia, could cut output more than the current 1.7 million barrels per day. Another 600,000 Bpd are expected to be cut.
Oil demand in China, the world’s second-largest crude consumer, has plunged because of travel restrictions and quarantines.
Officials in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, said Thursday the number of new confirmed cases there jumped by 14,840, to 48,206 on Wednesday, and that deaths climbed by a daily record of 242, to 1,310.
Oil refiner China National Chemical Corp. (CNCC) said it would close a 100,000 Bpd plant and cut processing at two others due to falling fuel demand, Reuters reported.
Brent and WTI have fallen more than 20% from their January peak, much of the drop due to the coronavirus.
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