Oil prices rose on Friday and were on course for a second consecutive week of gains as more countries moved ahead with plans to relax economic and social lockdowns put in place to halt the coronavirus pandemic and as more output was shut in.
"The road to rebalancing the oversupplied market is starting to happen", said Phil Flynn at Price Futures in Chicago.
"Although the growth of stocks of oil and oil products remains a risk for market, key trends such as supply-side and demand-side have begun to improve", says analyst at Schneider Electric, Robbie Fraser, who was quoted by MarketWatch.
USA jobless claims, meanwhile, continued to rise, although at a slower pace with 3.2 million more people seeking unemployment benefits for the week ended May 2. Distillate inventories also rose sharply.
Support for the oil market have expectations of production cuts by the largest manufacturers with the gradual recovery of demand.
Global markets drop, spooked by China-US tensions over virus
Washington has so far presented no evidence publicly that the virus came from a lab, which Beijing strongly denies. He noted this is not the first time the world has been exposed to a virus due to failures in a Chinese lab.
Cuomo says state antibody rate at 12.3%; 6% in WNY
New hospitalisations for the virus remained in the mid-900s for a fourth day, a plateau that Cuomo said he found troubling. Overall in the United States, there were 34,000 new cases on Friday, the highest daily total since April 24.
Japan to restart some public facilities after state of emergency extended
But there have been persistent fears about a spike in infections that could quickly overwhelm the country's healthcare system. Crowds and the movement of people have decreased but hitting the targets has proven hard , according to recent data.
But in a reminder that a supply glut persists, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday that United States crude inventories rose by 8.4 million barrels last week, more than analysts expected. While the April level 626 less than the same month past year.
The oil prices have since rebounded.
In China, meanwhile, oil imports climbed to 10.42 million bpd in April from 9.68 million bpd in March, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data for the first four months of 2020. The next day, the quotes came out again in the plus.
However, the country's imports for all goods fell, suggesting any recovery is some way off as economies around the world fall into recession.