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EghtesadOnline: Oil prices held steady on Monday as a better than expected quarterly rebound for China’s economy countered fears over soaring Covid-19 cases around the world and tight restrictions that could dent economic growth and fuel consumption.

Brent crude gained 3 cents, or 0.1%, at $55.13 a barrel while US oil was up 2 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $52.38, CNBC reported.

China’s economy picked up in the fourth quarter, with growth beating expectations as it ended a coronavirus-hit 2020 in remarkably good shape and remained poised to expand further this year even as the pandemic raged unabated.

However, China was in marked contrast to the US and Europe, where the spread of coronavirus has raised doubts over how soon economies could recover.

“Corona-induced economic fears, a stronger US dollar and more pessimistic investor sentiment are all playing their part in the fact that Brent is trading ... around $3 lower than last Wednesday,” said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.

Security concerns ahead of this week’s US presidential inauguration are also dragging on investor sentiment, said PVM Oil analyst Tamas Varga.

“In addition to the coronavirus running amok, this week’s tense presidential inauguration can also cause unease amongst investors,” he said.

 

Brent oil prices WTI