Oil prices at the peak of the last three weeks. Last Minute UK, Russia headlines and events


Oil prices hit a three-week high today as China eased the latest COVID-19 restrictions, raising hopes for a recovery in demand.

China’s National Health Commission announced yesterday that the quarantine requirement for travelers arriving from overseas will be lifted effective January 8, 2023, as part of an easing of restrictions at borders that have been largely closed since 2020.

Brent crude traded at $84.11 a barrel, up 19 cents, or $2 per thousand. West Texas crude rose 39 cents, or 5 cents per thousand, to $79.95. Thus, oil prices reached their maximum level since December 5 earlier in the day.

“This is definitely what traders and investors are hoping for,” said Naeem Aslam, an expert at Avatrade, of China’s plan for the lockdown rule.

Markets in the UK and US were closed yesterday for the Christmas holidays.

The US dollar fell today in response to China’s actions as stocks rose. A weakening dollar tends to support risky assets and also makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Winter conditions affected oil production

Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Securities, said oil was also supported on concerns about supply disruptions due to US snowstorms.

“However, the weather in the US is forecast to improve this week, meaning the recovery may not last very long,” Saito said.

Some objects have already been reworked. TotalEnergies resumed production today, restarting its Port Arthur refinery in Texas at 238,000 barrels per day, according to people familiar with the operation of the facility.

Nearly 1.5 million barrels of daily refining capacity along the US Gulf Coast was shut down as of Friday, and oil and gas production from North Dakota to Texas fell due to sub-zero temperatures.

Concerns about a possible reduction in production in Russia also caused prices to rise.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday that Russia could cut oil production by 5-7% by early 2023, RIA Novosti reported.

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