Steady course in oil

Oil prices, which made a flat start to the week, followed a stable course on the second trading day of the week.

Oil remained flat as investors awaited new signals on the status of China’s crude oil demand following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

US crude oil showed limited movement above $81 per barrel after Monday. Brent oil also hovered around $88.

Oil had increased in the last two weeks on expectations that the rapid turnaround in China, the world’s largest importing country, could bring daily consumption to a record level in 2023, with increased mobility and industrial activity.

Investors are also watching for the impact of tighter restrictions on Russian supply by the European Union and the United States following the invasion of Ukraine.

“Signs of positive fundamentals in most commodity markets have helped lift the sentiment. Optimism is strong amid demand from China reopening,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group said in its daily note.

The oil market will follow information from the American Petroleum Institute. In the past two weeks, commercial inventories across the country have increased by more than 27 million barrels, reaching the highest level since June 2021.