Oil rallies supported by Chinese data and geopolitical tensions


Oil prices rose, Tuesday, as data from China showed an increase in the growth of imports of the second largest consumer of oil in the world, in addition to tension in the Middle East after the Iran-backed Houthi group said it had fired shells at Saudi oil sites.
By 0356 GMT, Brent crude futures were up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $ 63.59 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures were up 28 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $ 59.98 a barrel.
China’s exports increased at the fastest pace in March, in a new impetus for the country’s economic recovery with growing global demand amid progress in vaccination of Covid-19 vaccines around the world, while import growth jumped to a four-year high.
China’s imports of crude oil jumped 21 percent in March from a low comparison basis for the same period a year ago, as refiners stepped up activity amid strength in fuel demand with a decline in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The data … indicate a domestic recovery that could be positive for gasoline demand (and) oil prices themselves rose after the issuance,” said Stephen Ins, senior global market analyst at Axi.
Also supporting prices, US crude oil inventories are expected to decline last week for the third time in a row, while gasoline and distillate inventories are likely to increase, according to a preliminary Reuters poll conducted on Monday.
The Yemeni Houthi group, which is allied with Iran, said that it launched 17 drones and two ballistic missiles towards Saudi targets, including the facilities of Aramco oil company in Jubail and Jeddah, but there has been no confirmation from Saudi Arabia so far. (Reuters)


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