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Oil ends down slightly



(New York) Oil prices ended slightly lower on Monday, after a seesaw session, where the price of Brent briefly brushed the bar of 100 dollars.

Prices were dampened by the reaffirmation by Chinese health authorities of maintaining the zero COVID-19 policy, dampening hopes of reopening the country, a major consumer of crude.

The barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in January 2023, concluded at 97.02 dollars, down 0.65%.

The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery lost 0.88% to 91.79 dollars.

The weaker dollar prompted traders to bet on oil during the session, Exinity’s Lukman Otunuga said, with Brent prices trending higher and falling just 50 cents from the $100 mark, not reached since the end of August.

The analyst also pointed out that the price of black gold had remained supported by plans to cap the price of Russian oil by the G7.

But the two global crude benchmarks ultimately concluded more modestly, “investors digesting (the fact that) last week’s speculation of a relaxation of China’s zero COVID-19 policy” did not follow through, a explained Stephen Innes, analyst at Spi.

Chinese health authorities have dampened hopes of a relaxation of the zero COVID-19 policy, stressing that it will continue to be applied “unwaveringly” despite the weariness of the inhabitants.

China is the latest major economy to implement a rigorous anti-COVID-19 policy, which involves repeated lockdowns.

On Monday, China reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in six months, with nearly 5,500 new local positive cases, much of it in the southern coastal province of Guangdong, a major manufacturing hub.

China consumes nearly 16% of global crude production, making it the second largest consumer in the world, said John Plassard, analyst at Mirabaud.

Oil, however, still enjoys “broad support” as the European Union’s embargo on Russian crude approaches in early December, said Mr. Innes, while the G7 also intends to finalize “in the coming weeks” its mechanism for capping the price of Russian oil.

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