Oil prices were mixed on Thursday as concerns about falling demand caused by travel restrictions tied to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, outweighed expectations of supply cuts from major producers.
Brent crude LCOc1 fell 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $55.71 per barrel at 0533 GMT, Reuters said.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 rose 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $51.24 a barrel. Brent rose 3.2% on Wednesday while WTI gained 2.5% as a slowdown in new Chinese coronavirus cases boosted expectations of a demand recovery.
Oil demand in China, the world’s second-largest crude consumer, has plunged because of travel restrictions to and from the country and quarantines within it. Another Chinese oil refiner China National Chemical Corp said on Thursday it would close a 100,000 barrel-per-day plant and cut processing at two other amid falling fuel demand.