LONDON – Brent crude reversed early losses to trade back towards 57 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, as a weaker dollar overshadowed signs of slowing growth in China.
The increase was also due to Saudi Arabian oil production, which has risen close to an all-time high.
Brent futures LCOc1 for May delivery traded up to 64 cents at 56.54 dollars, while U.S. crude CLc1 rose 60 cents to 48.05 dollars a barrel.
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According to the trading, gains are capped by data showing factory activity in China, the world’s second-largest economy and top oil importer, which slipped in March.
The Chinese data surge followed comments from OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia that it was pumping around 10 million barrels of crude per day, which was above OPEC figures for February.
OPEC’s decision to fight for market share rather than cutting output had contributed to a halving in oil prices since June as the global surplus of oil supplies had grown.
According to analysts, the market is expected to be at its weakest in the second quarter as winter fuel demand wanes while peak summer driving activity is yet to kick in. (Reuters/NAN)