Oil Up Over Anticipated Higher Fuel Demand in U.S., Europe By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Oil was up Friday morning in Asia, with investors expecting an increase in fuel demand as the economy recovers and lockdown ease in the U.S. and Europe. However, investors remained concerned about record numbers of COVID-19 cases in India.

were up 0.44% to $65.69 by 11:36 PM ET (3:36 AM GMT) and rose 0.63% to $61.82.

In the U.S, refiner Valero said gasoline and diesel demand recovered back to pre-COVID-19 levels, at 93% and 100% respectively, with its chief commercial officer Gary Simmons added the firm is “pretty bullish on gasoline going forward”.

“The market shrugged off last week’s , instead comforted by the continued improvement in gasoline demand,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

Across the Atlantic, Europe is expecting an increasing demand as France looks to reopen schools on Monday and lift domestic travel curbs which started earlier in the month, on May 3.

However, both Brent and WTI futures headed towards a nearly 2% weekly loss as the number of COIVD-19 cases in India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, continues to set new records. The country set a of 314,835 cases on Thursday, and several countries, including Singapore, the UAE and Australia, restricted the number of flights from India.

Some investors remained optimistic, however.

“With the COVID headline shockers from India and Japan fading to the back burner and so far no related risk of mutations spilling back into the U.S. and Europe, (the) buy-in dip has remained the order of the day,” said Axi’s chief market strategist Stephen Innes.

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