Oil prices rise with Donald Trump's health outlook in focus

Oil prices rise with Donald Trump's health outlook in focus

Shafaq news/ Oil prices rose more about 2% on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday, just a few days after his positive test for COVID-19 sparked widespread alarm.

Trump’s health update eased political uncertainty in global markets, pushing Brent up to $40.09 a barrel by 05:00 GMT, gaining 82 cents or 2.09 %.

 U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 37.97 cents per barrel gaining 2.35%.

Prices had slumped more than 4% on Friday amid uncertainty surrounding Trump’s health, adding to concerns of rising coronavirus case numbers that could dampen global economic recovery.

But analysts said Monday’s rebound was driven by an easing of the worst fears about Trump’s health condition, albeit clouded by some mixed signals.

“I think it’s the improving health of the US President ... over the weekend there were a lot of conflicting reports on his health, but generally he’s improving,” said Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures.

“He could be back to work soon,” Sandu said, adding that investors were worried about the stalled U.S. fiscal stimulus plan which could aid oil demand recovery.

Oil cold yet receive a jolt from an expanding strike by Norwegian workers on Monday that could reduce the country’s production capacity by as much as 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day or 8% of the country’s total output, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

In the same context, Libya’s daily oil output has expanded to 295,000 barrels, with fields that feed the newly restarted eastern ports of Hariga, Brega and Zueitina ramping up supply. Production was 250,000 barrels a day a week ago and will rise further as ships dock and load crude from storage tanks, allowing fields to pump more.

Saudi Arabia also pumped 8.974 million barrels per day in September compared to 8.988 million barrels per day in August, according to an industry official.

“There is growing concern that the oil demand recovery will be delayed," said Jun Inoue, an economist at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo.

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