Oil prices increased on Monday after traders seek profit from last week’s low prices, although worries over the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant linger, limiting further gains.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $65.96 per barrel at 0704 GMT for a 1.86% gain after closing Friday at $64.75 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $63.26 a barrel at the same time with a 1.8% increase after ending the previous session at $62.14 per barrel.
Oil prices started the week with an uptick, boosted by mild bullish sentiment of investors, who quickly cashed in on low prices when last week both benchmarks dropped 9% over virus-induced demand worries coupled with weaker-than-expected industrial data from China and the US.
-Cheap dollar encourages investors
The US dollar index, which measures the value of the American dollar against a basket of currencies, including the Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell 0.15% to 93.35 earlier Monday.
The decline in the value of the greenback is encouraging oil-importing countries to purchase more crude oil at cheaper dollar prices, which in turn is supporting higher crude prices.
Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag oil prices down.
In Vietnam, plans are afoot to impose fresh lockdowns in Ho Chi Minh City, as cases in the Southeast Asian country’s most populous city surge.
By Sibel Morrow