Oil up 2.5% on slowing pace of coronavirus

New York, Oil prices rose 2.5% on Wednesday as demand worries eased with a slowing of new coronavirus cases in China and supply curtailed by a U.S. move to cut more Venezuelan crude from the market.

Brent crude LCOc1 was up $1.47, or 2.6%, at $59.22 a barrel by12:17 p.m. EST (1716 GMT). U.S. oil CLc1 was up $1.23 , or 2.4%, at $53.28 a barrel.

Official data showed new coronavirus cases in China fell for a second straight day, although the World Health Organization said there was not enough data to know if the epidemic was being contained.

There's more optimism that maybe this disease is peaking, said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, reported Reuters.

The market is pricing in the possibility that we can get back to normal quicker, and that's going to be very bullish for oil demand.

Actions the Chinese government has taken, and is expected to take, to stimulate its economy and counteract the financial impact of the coronavirus also boosted oil prices, Flynn said.

China is expected to cut its benchmark lending rate on Thursday as it attempts to limit the damage from business shutdowns and travel curbs.

China, the world's second-largest economy, has imposed city lockdowns and travel restrictions to contain the virus that has now killed more than 2,000 people.

Source: Bahrain News Agency