By 0616 GMT, Brent crude futures for July delivery were at $ 68.40 a barrel, up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery rose 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $ 65.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate are heading for their second consecutive weekly gains, as paving the way for a recovery in fuel demand, easing movement restrictions in the United States and Europe, restoring factory activities and coronavirus vaccinations, while it is likely to provide a free rein to travel in the summer More subsidies for the consumption of gasoline and aviation fuel.
In China, data showed export growth unexpectedly accelerated in April, and a special survey indicated a strong increase in service sector activity.
But crude oil imports for the world’s largest buyer fell 0.2 percent in April from the same period a year earlier, to 40.36 million tons, or 9.82 million barrels per day, the lowest level since December.
“The import figure is not the best,” said an economist at OCBC Bank of Singapore, Hui Lee, adding that the decline in operating rates of independent refineries in Shandong Province, east China, last month may have caused the decline.
In the United States, the largest consumer of oil in the world, jobless claims decreased, indicating that the labor market recovery has entered a new phase in light of the boom in the economy.
However, the recovery in oil demand has been uneven, as the high incidence of Covid-19 infections in India has reduced fuel consumption in the world’s third largest oil importer and consumer.