By 0621 GMT, Brent crude futures rose 18 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $ 29.37 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $ 25.52 a barrel.
Oil prices have witnessed increases over the past two weeks, with some countries beginning to ease restrictions and public isolation measures related to the Corona virus to allow factories and shops to resume work. But the emergence of new cases in South Korea and China increased fears of a second wave of injuries, which would put pressure on the economic recovery and demand for fuel.
Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, warned on Wednesday of weak economic growth for an “extended period” and called for additional financial spending to stem the consequences of the virus.
“It is difficult to get excited about a steady recovery in oil demand when the world’s largest economy has a lot of uncertainty about the outlook and major risks on the downside,” said Edward Moya, chief market analyst at Oanda.
The decline recorded by US stocks provided some support to prices early in the trading session, but Moya said that more withdrawals of reserves will be required over the next few weeks to support prices.
On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration said that US crude inventories fell 745,000 barrels last week to 531.5 million barrels in the week ending May 8. Analysts expect a Reuters poll to rise 4.1 million barrels.
In light of declining fuel consumption, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Wednesday it expects global oil demand to shrink 9.07 million barrels per day in 2020. Last month, OPEC expected a contraction of 6.85 million barrels per day. The organization also predicted that the current quarter will witness the largest decline in demand.