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Oil is heading for the largest weekly gain in two months

 West Texas Intermediate crude settles above $81 a barrel after four consecutive days of gains

Oil is heading to achieve its largest weekly gain in nearly two months, after China eased the strict Corona restrictions, and Washington also considered stopping crude sales from the strategic reserve temporarily, while the weakness of the dollar enhanced the attractiveness of commodities.

WTI settled above $81 a barrel after achieving gains for four consecutive days. The price hike comes ahead of a key meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, scheduled for the weekend and the European Union's deadline for agreeing a ceiling on Russian oil prices.

In the world's largest oil importer, Beijing announced that it would allow some infected people to self-isolate at home, another easing of its "zero Covid" policy. In addition, Governor of the People's Bank of China Yi Gang emphasized that the central bank is now focusing on the country's economic growth, which is helping to improve the outlook on energy consumption.

Sharp rebound

Oil prices rebounded sharply this week after falling to their lowest level since 2021 on Monday, amid improved energy demand outlook due to the easing of China's hardline "zero Covid" policy, following protests that erupted in the country. There were also clear signals from Federal Reserve officials to slow the pace of interest rate hikes, after a measure of consumer prices in the US indicated a lower-than-expected rise.

In this context, Neil Beveridge, chief oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said on Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong: “China is heading towards reopening the country faster than we expected in the aftermath of the disruptions that we saw” and "If China takes this step within the next year, that would really change things."