Investors analyzed the forecast for Chinese demand in a tightening market as we approach winter, and oil held gains after a two-day advance. On Monday, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading close to $89 a barrel. There is hope for a recovery in demand from the largest crude importer in the world after China announced a rescue package for its faltering real estate sector and relaxed some of its rigorous COVID Zero controls.
As European Union restrictions on Russian oil flows are set to take effect next month as a result of the OPEC+ alliance starting a round of production cuts, an increase in Chinese crude consumption might cause the market to become even more constrained. After a prolonged fall this quarter due to slowdown worries, futures have recovered.
The strongest indications yet that President Xi Jinping is focusing his attention on shoring up the second-largest economy in the world came from China, which issued broad directions to rescue its property sector in addition to a massive recalibration of its pandemic response.
Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said the market is sent a "powerful signal" by China's COVID Zero policy's refinement. Nevertheless, he continued, traders are probably attempting to strike a balance between the soft pivot on strategy and the current viral lockdowns.
According to the updated COVID regulations issued last week, localities in China have scaled back mass testing and released prisoners from detention facilities. Additional adjustments will be made gradually, officials stated on Saturday. Virus cases are still increasing.
Over the previous 24 hours, a total of 11,773 infections-including 10,351 patients with no symptoms-were reported nationally. Although China's numbers are low, a "zero-COVID" approach that attempts to isolate every infected individual is being tested by a rise over the past week.
According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, if Moscow wants to avoid a partial supply cutoff, EU sanctions will likely force Russia to offer some of its petroleum at a price determined by the U.S. and its allies.
"They're going to be looking for buyers, and we think they're going to have a hard time selling all of it," Yellen said.
Although Russian assertions that it withdrew its forces from the west bank of the Dnipro have not been independently verified, Jake Sullivan, the White House's national security adviser, called Russia's pullout from Kherson city an "extraordinary victory" for Ukraine. Ukraine has reclaimed control of more than 60 settlements in the Kherson area, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday.
On Dec. 5, Europe will put a restriction on imports of seaborne oil.