Oil prices rose more than two per cent on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S President Donald Trump, suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday.This is just a few days after his positive coronavirus test sparked widespread alarm.
Mr Trump’s health update eased political uncertainty in global markets, pushing Brent up to $40.10 a barrel, gaining 83 cents or 2.1 per cent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $37.94 a barrel, up 89 cents or 2.4 percent. Oil was also supported by an escalating workers’ strike in Norway that has shut four of Equinor’s oil and gas fields.
The strike could reduce the country’s production capacity by as much as 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (bpd) or eight per cent of its total output, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.
Prices had slumped more than four per cent on Friday amid uncertainty surrounding Trump’s health, adding to concerns about rising coronavirus case numbers that could dampen a global economic recovery.
Analysts said Monday’s rebound was driven by an easing of the worst fears about Trump’s health, despite some mixed signals about his condition.
“I think it’s the improving health of the U.S. President … over the weekend there were a lot of conflicting reports on his health, but generally, he’s improving,’’ said Avtar Sandu, Senior Commodities Manager at Phillip Futures.