Oil prices increased on Thursday, rebounding from early losses, as continuing concerns about restricted global supply outweighed concerns about weaker economic growth, as seen by falling global equities.
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Brent oil futures were up 97 cents, or 0.9%, at $110.08 a barrel, after sliding by more than a dollar earlier in the session.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures in the United States climbed 42 cents, or 0.4%, to $110.01 a barrel in June, reversing a more than $2 loss. WTI was up 56 cents, or 0.5%, to $107.60 per barrel for July. On Wednesday, both benchmark prices decreased by nearly 2.5%.
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Asian equities fell in lockstep with Wall Street on Thursday, as investors worried about increasing global inflation, China’s zero-COVID policy, and the Ukraine crisis.
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This month, the European Union recommended fresh sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. This would entail a total ban on oil imports within six months, but the steps have yet to be implemented, with Hungary among the most outspoken opponents of the proposal.
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On Wednesday, the European Commission revealed a 210 billion euro ($220 billion) plan for Europe to phase out its dependency on Russian fossil fuels by 2027, and to utilise the shift away from Moscow to accelerate its transition to green energy.
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Meanwhile, US oil stockpiles decreased unexpectedly last week as refiners stepped up output in reaction to low product reserves and near-record exports that have driven US diesel and gasoline prices to historic highs.
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On both the East and Gulf Coasts, capacity utilisation was above 95%, bringing refineries to their maximum operating rates.