Oil mixed as Chinese virus cases, lockdowns raise demand worries
Oil prices were mixed on Friday as high Chinese import data, which boosted sentiment earlier, met difficulties with several Chinese cities put on lockdowns due to rising coronavirus cases.
Brent crude futures lost 3 cents to $56.69 per barrel following a 0.6% gain on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 12 cents to $53.69 per barrel after climbing over 1% in the last session.
Producers are struggling to balance supply and demand amid vaccine rollouts and lockdowns worldwide. Financial contracts were also supported by stronger equities and a weaker dollar, pulling oil prices down.
China’s crude imports rose 7.3% in 2020. The country also posted its highest daily COVID-19 cases in over 10 months on Friday, ending a week that resulted in 28 million people under lockdown.