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Title: Oil pares gains as new China lockdown measures emerge

Jun 09, 2022 03:01AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

Oil prices gave up initial gains on Thursday after some parts of Shanghai imposed new COVID-19 blocking measures that outweighed reports of higher-than-expected Chinese exports in May.

Brent crude futures for August were down 15 cents, or 0.1%, at $123.43 a barrel at 6:30 GMT, while U.S.

West Texas Intermediate crude for July was at $121.91 a barrel, down 20 cents, or 0.2%.

Both benchmarks closed Wednesday at their highest level since March 8, matching 2008 levels.

China's May exports jumped 16.9% from a year earlier as the easing of COVID restrictions allowed some factories to restart, the fastest growth since January this year and more than double analysts' expectations.

However, while the Chinese trade data was upbeat, it failed to lift oil prices for long.

New shutdowns began to be imposed in parts of Shanghai on Thursday, with residents of the sprawling Minhang district ordered to stay at home for two days in a bid to control COVID transmission risks.

Meanwhile, peak summer demand for gasoline in the United States continued to provide a floor to prices.

The US saw a record drop in strategic crude inventories even as commercial stocks rose last week, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday.

U.S. gasoline inventories unexpectedly fell, indicating resilience in demand for the motor fuel during the peak summer season despite high prices at the pumps.

EIA data showed that apparent demand for all petroleum products in the United States rose to 19.5 million barrels per day (bpd), with gasoline demand increasing to 8.98 million bpd, ANZ analysts said in a note.

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