Oil showed mixed prices on Friday after rising more than 3% in previous trade over reports that the EU is ready for a ban on Russian oil and based on China’s decision to reduce refinery throughput for April at a scale not seen since the early days of the pandemic.
Brent crude closed on Thursday at $111.23 per barrel, posting a 7.77% gain from the Monday session that opened at $103.21 a barrel. The stock market closed for trade today, Good Friday, ahead of the Easter Sunday holiday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) registered at $106.51 per barrel at the same time on Thursday, increasing 8.24% relative to the opening price of $98.40 a barrel on Monday.
Brent oil price rose as high as $112.39 a barrel on Thursday after international media reported on a phased-in EU ban on Russian fossil fuels as part of the latest sanctions on the country.
The EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said last week that the bloc is ready to adopt the latest sanctions package against Russia while ruling out an imminent oil embargo.
However, he said that EU foreign affairs ministers would discuss the possibility of introducing a ban on Russian oil exports.
While China's protracted lockdown continues to weigh on demand and drive down prices, refiners in the country are forecast to reduce crude oil processing by 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in April, or 6.3% of the average national throughput.
As the country attempts to reduce huge stocks resulting from recent COVID lockdowns, which have harmed fuel consumption, slowing demand in the world's largest crude importer is likely to help calm oil prices.
A hefty increase in US crude oil stocks also trimmed prices.
Crude oil inventories rose by 9.4 million barrels last week, more than the market expectation for a rise of 1.4 million barrels. Gasoline inventories, however, fell by 3.6 million barrels.
Signaling declining demand in the US, such a large inventory build encouraged investors to capitalize on high price gains.
By Sibel Morrow