Oil Steadies After Quarterly Surge With Chinese Demand in Focus

Oil steadied after capping a solid first-quarter gain as data from China added to signs of a recovery, bolstering the demand outlook.

Brent for June held near USD87 a barrel after most-active prices surged by 14% in the first three months of the year, while West Texas Intermediate was above USD83. China’s industrial activity rebounded in March to snap a five-month decline, brightening the outlook in the biggest crude importer.

Crude has rallied this year as OPEC+ cut back supplies to push prices higher and offset the impact of increased flows from outside the cartel. The group is expected to affirm its current output policy at an online review meeting that’s scheduled for Wednesday. Oil has also been supported by Ukrainian attacks on Russian energy infrastructure and elevated tensions in the Middle East.

Trading volumes are likely to be thin in the week’s opening session, with many economies including Hong Kong, the UK, and some European countries off for Easter Monday. – Bloomberg

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