Oil Sticks Near Three-Month Highs Despite China Lockdowns


SINGAPORE—Oil prices hovered near three-month highs on Thursday after parts of Shanghai imposed new COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Brent crude futures for August dipped 9 cents to $123.49 a barrel at 0853 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for July was at $121.89 a barrel, down 22 cents.

Both benchmarks closed on Wednesday at their highest since March 8, matching levels seen in 2008.

China’s May exports jumped 16.9 percent from a year earlier as easing COVID-19 curbs allowed some factories to restart.

“Of far greater importance is news that a district of Shanghai has been locked down today, reviving fears of another leg of China weakness due to its covid-zero policies. That is capping any gains in Asia today,” said Jeffrey Halley, OANDA’s senior market analyst for Asia Pacific.

Parts of Shanghai began imposing new lockdown restrictions on Thursday, with residents of Minhang district ordered to stay home for two days to control COVID-19 transmission risks.

Meanwhile, peak summer gasoline demand in the United States continued to provide a floor to prices.

U.S. gasoline stocks unexpectedly dropped, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday, indicating resilience in demand for the motor fuel during peak summer despite sky-high pump prices.

“It’s hard to see significant downside in the coming months, with the gasoline market likely to only tighten further as we move deeper into driving season,” said ING’s head of commodities research Warren Patterson.

By Florence Tan and Jeslyn Lerh

Source; The Epochtimes