The price of Texas intermediate oil (WTI) closed on Tuesday with a rise of 0.75%, although it remained below 50 dollars a barrel, specifically at 49.94 dollars, a bearish situation linked to the fear of the effects of the Chinese coronavirus, which today nevertheless eased.
At the end of live operations on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), WTI futures contracts for delivery in March totaled $ 0.37 compared to the previous session on Monday.
Oil prices rose from a minimum of 13 months ago as the number of new cases of coronavirus slowed in China, easing some concern about the potential for prolonged destruction in oil demand.
The so-called covid-19 has been infected to 42,708 people in China (of which 1,018 have died) and in 393 patients in twenty-four other countries, although the number of new confirmed cases has decreased.
The epidemic could peak in February and then stabilize before declining, said the Chinese government’s chief medical advisor on the outbreak.
Investors remain suspicious that China’s oil demand could be affected if the coronavirus cannot be contained and if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC +, do not reach an agreement on measures Additional to support prices.
The virus is already affecting demand in the world’s second largest oil consumer. Chinese state refineries plan to reduce up to 940,000 barrels per day (bpd), almost 1% of global demand, according to the specialized CNBC channel.
The US Energy Information Administration It reduced its forecast for growth in global oil demand for this year by 310,000 barrels per day (bpd) after the coronavirus outbreak.
Oil also received a boost from a rebound in the New York Stock Exchange, which resumed its rise to record highs on Tuesday with the hope that the virus is at its peak.
In this context, gasoline futures contracts due in March fell by about one cent to $ 1.51 a gallon, and natural gas contracts, expiring the same month, added two cents to $ 1.78 per every thousand cubic feet.