* IMF Managing Director says cannot rule recession out
* U.S. gasoline demand set to climb as driving season
* White House weighs tapping emergency diesel reserve
* Shanghai aims to normalize life from June 1
HOUSTON, May 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices were little changed
on Monday, settling just slightly higher as worries over a
possible recession vied with an outlook for higher fuel demand
with the upcoming U.S. summer driving season and Shanghai's
plans to reopen after a two-month coronavirus lockdown.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled up 1
cent, or 0.01%, at $110.29 a barrel, while Brent crude
futures settled up 87 cents, or 0.7%, to at $113.42.
"There are black clouds gathering around the financial
markets here and it has started to impact crude oil," said Bob
Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
"The economic wellbeing of the global economy is
questionable at this point," he added.
Multiple threats to the global economy topped the worries of
the world's well-heeled at the annual Davos economic summit,
with some flagging the risk of a worldwide recession.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina
Georgieva said she did not expect a recession for major
economies but could not rule one out.
Oil's losses were limited by expectations gasoline demand
would remain high. The United States was set to enter its peak
driving season beginning on Memorial Day weekend at the end of
Despite fears that soaring fuel prices could dent demand,
analysts said mobility data from TomTom and Google had climbed
in recent weeks, showing more drivers on the road in places such
as the United States.
To address a major supply crunch and blunt rising prices,
the White House is weighing an emergency declaration to release
diesel from a rarely used stockpile, an administration official
The White House is considering tapping the Northeast Home
Heating Oil Reserve, created in 2000 to help with supply issues
and used only once in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The
impact from such a release would be limited by the relatively
small size of the reserve, which only contains 1 million barrels
The European Union's inability to reach a final agreement on
banning Russian oil after that country's invasion of Ukraine,
which Moscow calls a "special operation," has limited oil price
gains. Hungary continues to hold out against the
proposed ban, ensuring no sudden shock to supply.
"The persistent squeeze in refined petroleum products in the
U.S. and ever-present Ukraine/Russia risk underpinned prices,"
said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
Shanghai, China's commercial hub, aims to normalize life
from June 1 as its coronavirus caseloads decline.
Lockdowns in China, the world's top oil importer, have
hammered industrial output and construction, prompting moves to
prop up the economy, including a bigger than expected mortgage
rate cut on Friday.
China said it would take targeted steps, including
broadening its tax credit rebates, and rolling out new
investment projects, to support its economy, state television
quoted the cabinet as saying on Monday.
(Additional reporting by Noah Browning in London Sonali Paul in
Melbourne and Mohi Narayan in New Delhi
Editing by David Gregorio and Marguerita Choy)