Oil prices rebound strongly from 18-year lows

AFP

Business, Market

Oil markets have plunged as governments across the planet introduce lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus

Oil prices rebounded strongly. (Photo- AFP)

Singapore: Oil prices rebounded strongly in Asian trade Tuesday a day after falling to 18-year lows, as investors took heart from moves by policymakers to support the coronavirus-hit global economy.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate jumped 7.3 percent to $21.5 a barrel while Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 3.3 percent at $23.5 a barrel. In New York on Monday, prices struck their lowest levels since 2002, with WTI briefly falling below $20.

Oil markets have plunged as governments across the planet introduce lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus, hammering demand for the commodity.

About two-fifths of the globe's population have now been confined to their homes, while the death toll has soared over 37,000, with the US suffering a serious and escalating outbreak.

The crisis has been worsened after top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia launched a price war following a row about reducing output to support virus-hit energy markets.

In its latest move to win market share, Riyadh announced Monday it would raise exports by 600,000 barrels per day to a record 10.6 million barrels per day in May.

Stephen Innes, AxiCorp chief global market strategist, said Trump's call may have been an "attempt to get Russia to pull up a chair to the negotiating table with Saudi Arabia, or maybe even (looking at) loosening sanctions on Russia, as desperate times call for drastic solutions".

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