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Oil prices boosted as the U.S. dollar hit a six-week low

Oil prices grew, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar. Still, gains were capped by concerns about the impact on demand from increasing COVID-19 infections in India.

Brent crude rose by 28 cents, which equals 0.4%, and settled at $67.05 a barrel, after increasing 6% last week. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. oil increased by 0.4% and ended the session up 25 cents. It was trading at $63.38 a barrel, while it increased by 6.4% last week.

The U.S. dollar traded at a six-week low against major currencies on Monday. Treasury yields were wavering close to their lowest in five weeks.

A weaker greenback makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies. However, coronavirus infections have grown in India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, dampening optimism for a sustained global rebound in demand.

India reported a record increase in infections, which lifted overall cases to just over 15 million. India is the second-worst affected country after the United States. Remarkably, America has reported over 31 million infections.

Deaths from coronavirus in India also increased by a record 1,619 to nearly 180,000.

Additionally, the capital region of Delhi ordered a six-day lockdown, joining about 13 other states across India that have decided to impose restrictions, curfews, or lockdowns in their cities.

JP Morgan anticipates Brent prices to break the $70 mark by May

Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines from April 20. This is due to imported COVID-19 infections, authorities announced on Sunday.

According to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports declined in February to their lowest in eight months, as the world’s biggest oil exporter voluntarily capped output to support oil prices.

JP Morgan anticipates Brent prices to break the $70 mark by May, compared with September in its previous forecast. The bank still predicts them to finish the year at a similar level of approximately $74.

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