Oil rises on China stimulus expectations, weaker dollar

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on expectations of potential economic stimulus by China, healthy demand in the rest of Asia and a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Brent crude futures rose 64 cents, to $84.82 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures gained 67 cents, to $80.41 a barrel.

Data from China showed that consumer inflation in March hit the slowest pace since September 2021, suggesting demand weakness persists amid an uneven economic recovery, which spurred expectations Beijing may take steps to boost growth.

Signs of strong fuel demand in India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, in March also supported prices.

Last month, fuel consumption jumped by 5% from a year earlier to a record 4.83 million barrels per day.

Oil futures have climbed more than 5% since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia surprised the market last week with a new round of production cuts starting in May.

On the U.S. supply front, industry data on U.S. crude stockpiles is due on Tuesday. Five analysts polled by Reuters estimated on average that crude inventories fell by about 1.3 million barrels in the week to April 7.

A U.S. inflation report to be released on Wednesday could help investors gauge the near-term trajectory for interest rates.

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