(Bloomberg) — Brent crude rose in Asia as some economic data pointed to signs of recovery, though rising virus infections across the globe clouded the outlook for demand.
Futures in London climbed 0.6%, after gaining 4.3% last week after buoyant U.S. labor data showed payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June while those for the previous month were revised higher. Meanwhile, a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week and plunging output from OPEC producers point to tightening supplies. A surge in cases in the U.S. has pushed global coronavirus infection numbers to above 11.3 million.
Oil has been stuck in a range around $40 as surging virus infections across the globe, including top consumers including the U.S. and India, increased fears of a prolonged hit to demand even as supplies tightened following the scaleback of production by OPEC+ nations. The producers are yet to decide on whether to extend their full production cutbacks after July, or ease to the initially planned level of 7.7 million barrels, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said last week.
Sinking refinery profits even as oil prices recovered from a historic drop also point to the demand pain that’s kept product prices lower.