(Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Oil futures rose by around 5% in European trading on Wednesday (April 14) on a brighter outlook for COVID vaccinations, better Chinese economic data and an assertion by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that crude market "fundamentals look decidedly stronger."
At 12:33pm EST, the Brent Oil June contract was up 4.77% or $3.04 to $66.71 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate May contract traded at $63.24 per barrel, up 5.08% or $3.06. That's after overnight data from China suggested crude oil imports jumped by 21% in March year-on-year, albeit from a low base recorded in the same month last year.
The data arrived in step with a rising rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in major economies including the United States and United Kingdom, despite fresh concerns over the rollout of Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
However, in its monthly report published on Wednesday, the IEA said market fundamentals were improving. While the Paris-based think-tank said caution was merited, the "massive overhang in global oil inventories that built up during last year's COVID-19 demand shock is being worked off, vaccine campaigns are gathering pace and the global economy appears to be on a better footing."