Oil edges up as China’s economy gathers pace
Oil prices firmed slightly early on Tuesday, after falling 2% in the previous session, as stronger economic data from the world’s largest crude importer China underpinned demand outlook.
Brent crude climbed 23 cents to $84.99 a barrel at 0416 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 21 cents at $81.04 a barrel.
China’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected clip in the first quarter, official data showed, expanding 4.5% year-on-year as policymakers move to bolster growth following the end of strict COVID-19 curbs in December.
“The remarkable recovery of the Chinese economy has supported the recent rebound in oil prices,” CMC Markets analyst Leon Li said.
Furthermore, May is the seasonal peak travel period in China and demand for fuel is expected to post a very large year-on-year increase, he added.
Chinese refinery throughput surged to record levels in March, signalling robust demand for the fuel, as refiners stepped up runs to capture strong export demand and build up inventories ahead of planned maintenance.
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