Oil prices were lower on Friday as concerns about Chinese cities in lockdown due to coronavirus outbreaks tempered a rally driven by strong import data from the world’s biggest crude importer and U.S. plans for a large stimulus package.
Brent was down 46 cents, or 0.8%, at $55.96 by 0544 GMT, after gaining 0.6% on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was 29 cents, or 0.5%, lower at $53.28 a barrel, having risen more than 1% the previous session.
Brent is heading for the first weekly decline in three weeks, while U.S. crude is on track for a third weekly gain.
“Oil market euphoria is unequivocally strong, but market indicators from Asia are mixed,” RBC Capital Markets said.
“China, the global engine of oil demand growth, is wrestling with fresh COVID outbreaks,” it said.
Crude imports into China were up 7.3% in 2020, with record arrivals in two out of four quarters as refineries increased runs and low prices prompted stockpiling, customs data showed on Thursday.