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Oil rises more than 1% on hopes of a rebound in demand

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday, making its first weekly gain since early January, as investors bet the effect of the coronavirus will be short-term and their attachment to hope for more stimulus from the Chinese central bank to tackle any economic slowdown.

Brent crude rose 98 cents, or 1.74 percent, to set the settlement price at 57.32 dollars a barrel. Crude has increased 5.23 percent since last Friday, in its first weekly gain in six weeks.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 63 cents, or 1.23 percent, to close at $ 52.05 a barrel. The weekly increase was 3.44 percent.

Jim Ritterbush, President of Ritterbush & Co., said in a note, “The massive liquidation process that drove prices down sharply last month is likely to be completed by a purchase as well as covering the positions of the speculators who recently entered the market.”

Brent has declined about 15 percent since the start of the year, due to factors including concerns that the virus could harm the global economy. More than 1,380 people have died from the virus in China.

But market sentiment improved with the reopening of factories in China and the government easing monetary policy with the world’s second largest economy.

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