Oil prices rallied on Monday supported by strong demand recovery signs after lockdowns eased in some European countries, including the UK and Portugal, while many US states lifted restrictions allowing businesses to reopen.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $70.11 per barrel at 0711 GMT for a 0.93% rise after closing Monday at $69.46 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $66.89 per barrel at the same time for a 0.92% increase after it ended the previous session at $66.28 a barrel.
Restrictions are relaxing and life is returning to normal following the acceleration of vaccination campaigns in major economies, which are driving down daily virus cases and death tolls. Such progress signals an economic recovery and in global oil demand from damages wrought by the pandemic.
Major sectors of the UK society are set to reopen on Monday as coronavirus restrictions are further eased across England, Wales, and parts of Scotland. Northern Ireland will review its measures later this week.
Portugal on Monday reopened its borders to non-essential travel with most European nations, including the UK. Visitors from European countries with high infection rates – including Croatia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the Greek Cypriot Administration – will remain excluded.
Greece on Friday relaxed its months-long pandemic-related restrictions. The government abolished the mobile text messaging system required for citizens to leave their houses, and the country officially opened its doors to tourists.
Visitors from the European Union, the UK, the US and Israel will be allowed to visit the country after they show a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result.
In the US, with progress from vaccination campaigns, some states are set to remove all restraints on businesses and gatherings. Many governors set goals for reopening depending on vaccination rates or other health indicators.
Meanwhile, India’s daily coronavirus cases dropped below 300,000, the Health Ministry data showed. According to the ministry, 4,329 deaths and 263,533 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total cases to 25.23 million.
By Sibel Morrow