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Gulf Today Report
Oil prices slipped on Friday, slipping from its 11-month highs due to concerns of the new pandemic restrictions in China affecting demand.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 53 cents, or 1%, to $52.60 a barrel while Brent crude futures fell 45 cents, or 0.8%, to $55.65 a barrel.
Axi chief market strategist Stephen Innes said,"indeed, investors are struggling to see through short-term pain for long-term gain heading into the weekend as COVID case counts in China are the most significant demand concern for traders."
Shanghai reported its first case in two months on Thursday and Beijing is urging people not to travel for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
In a note, consultancy FGE said, a seasonal boost to China's gasoline demand that is typically seen during the New Year holidays will be moderated by the tightened restrictions this year.
The market is awaiting official oil inventory data from the US Energy Information Administration on Friday, after industry data on Wednesday showed a surprise 2.6 million barrel increase in US crude inventories last week compared with analysts' forecasts for a 1.2 million barrel draw.
Both benchmark contracts hovered around unchanged levels after having jumped on Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration reported a sharp, unexpected 10.6 million barrel drop in crude stockpiles last week.
Brent crude futures for January rose 22 cents, or 0.5%, to $43.97 a barrel by 07:33 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude for December climbed 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.49 a barrel.
January Brent crude futures, which will expire later on Monday, dropped 46 cents, or 1%, to $47.72 a barrel by 03:55 GMT. Brent contract was at $47.83 a barrel, down 42 cents. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January fell 48 cents, or 1.1%, to $45.05 a barrel.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday his government would iron out what he described “technical issues” with the European Union over post-Brexit trade.
The UAE has made significant progress in its mission to empower women in the workforce across various sectors and the nation’s women can today be classified as role models for the rest of the world.
China’s February exports grew at a record pace from a year earlier when COVID-19 battered the world’s second-biggest economy, customs data showed on Sunday, while imports rose less sharply.