Oil steadies with virus pessimism balanced by US stimulus

Oil steadied – after posting its first weekly loss since October – as pessimism over a new strain of Covid-19 that’s threatening more travel restrictions was balanced by the passage of a US stimulus bill into law.

Photo: Jessica Lutz/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Futures in New York traded near USD 48 a barrel after sliding 1.8 percent last week. Tougher restrictions were extended to much of England to try and stem the virus mutation, while American officials warned of a post-Christmas surge of infections. Japanese industrial production missed analyst expectations to come in unchanged last month from October, more evidence that the resurgent pandemic is stalling the economic recovery in some parts of Asia.

Crude pared losses of as much as 1.5 percent after President Donald Trump signed the long-awaited bill containing USD 900 billion of virus relief that’s expected to boost energy demand in the world’s largest economy. Trump had previously expressed his displeasure with the package that Congress approved last week.

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