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Oil rises as China debates cut to virus quarantine for travellers

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Oil extended gains as Chinese officials debate easing some of its Covid rules, a strategy that’s weighed on its economy and energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate for December rose 1.2% to trade above $85 a barrel after gaining 3% on Wednesday. China’s bureaucrats are debating whether to reduce the amount of time people coming into the country must spend in mandatory quarantine, according to people familiar with the talks.

Crude has been whipsawed by concerns over a global economic slowdown and the prospect for further tightening following OPEC+ output cuts from November. European Union sanctions on Russian seaborne oil exports that take effect in December have added another layer of uncertainty to supply.

President Biden on Wednesday confirmed the release of 15 million barrels from the US strategic reserve and said more supplies could be tapped, but didn’t announce any other actions such as curbing fuel exports.

Prices:

  • WTI for December delivery rose 1.2% to $85.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:47 p.m. in Singapore.
  • The November contract, which expires Thursday, rose 0.8% to $86.20 a barrel.
  • Brent for December settlement increased 0.6% to $93 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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© 2022 Bloomberg

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