Oil-Barrel rises, but COVID concerns contain gains

By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Friday, reversing some of the steep losses of the day before as stock markets rose and the dollar fell, but gains were limited by the coronavirus situation in India, a major consumer of crude oil.

* Colonial Pipeline said late Thursday that it had rebooted its entire pipeline system and started deliveries in all of its markets.

* Brent crude futures advanced $ 1.66, or 2.48%, to $ 68.71 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil was up $ 1.55, or 2.43% , at $ 65.37.

* Both contracts lost about 3% on Thursday.

* Global stocks rose and the dollar fell on Friday, after officials at the US Federal Reserve said there would be no imminent action to tighten monetary policy in the world’s largest economy.

* As oil is traded in dollars, the weakness of the greenback makes the raw material cheaper for holders of other currencies.

* Oil prices have come under pressure this week from rising coronavirus cases in India, as well as concerns that the highly infectious variant detected there for the first time is spreading to other countries.

* India reported 343,144 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing its overall count to more than 24 million, while COVID-19 deaths rose by 4,000.

* US President Joe Biden assured motorists that fuel supplies should begin to return to normal this weekend, despite more gas stations running out of gas across the Southeast for nearly a week after a cyberattack forced the shutdown of the country’s main fuel pipeline.

(Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore and Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)

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