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Oil little changed as rising virus cases overshadow demand recovery

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08/04/2020 | 09:39am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A pump jack operates in front of a drilling rig at sunset in an oil field in Midland

Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as positive economic news earlier in the week offset concerns that a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections will hamper a global demand recovery just as major producers ramp up output.

Brent futures rose 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $44.24 a barrel by 11:02 a.m. EDT (1502 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 34 cents, or 0.8%, to $41.35.

The small price moves come after Brent and WTI futures climbed almost 2% on Monday on better than expected data on manufacturing activity in Asia, Europe and the United States.

News from Asia and Europe is adding to concerns that coronavirus may be spreading in a global second wave, not just in the United States and Brazil, said Paola Rodriguez Masiu of Rystad Energy.

Denting fuel demand, cities from Manila to Melbourne are tightening lockdowns to battle new infections.

In a further sign of a patchy demand rebound, analysts forecast U.S. refined product stockpiles rose last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll ahead of data from the American Petroleum Institute later on Tuesday and the U.S. government on Wednesday.

State oil company Saudi Aramco will delay the release of its September official selling prices (OSPs) for crude until early next week, a person familiar with the matter said.

The Muslim religious holiday of Eid al-Adha ends on Saturday.

"The delay could be due to the Saudi public holiday. Or it could be that they want to see if they get better compliance from OPEC laggards Iraq, Nigeria and Algeria," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, are raising output this month, adding about 1.5 million barrels per day of supply. U.S. producers also plan to restart shut-in production.

By Scott DiSavino

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL -1.84% 27147.7 Delayed Quote.-4.87%
EURO / BRAZILIAN REAL (EUR/BRL) -0.35% 6.3462 Delayed Quote.41.66%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.91% 42.06 Delayed Quote.-35.03%
NASDAQ 100 0.40% 10980.219627 Delayed Quote.25.24%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.13% 10778.79817 Delayed Quote.20.13%
S&P 500 -1.16% 3281.06 Delayed Quote.2.75%
SAUDI ARABIAN OIL COMPANY 0.00% 36.95 End-of-day quote.4.82%
WTI 0.47% 40.1 Delayed Quote.-34.94%
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