Oil prices inched up in early Asian trade on Monday, indicating a slight rebound from the downward trend of the previous three weeks, which was fueled by fears of a recession in the U.S. Brent crude futures gained 6 cents to reach $75.36 per barrel at 0022 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 8 cents to $71.42.
Last week, the Brent benchmark fell by 5.3% and WTI plunged 7.1%, despite seeing a sharp rebound on Friday that resulted in both benchmarks gaining about 4% each. The recent healthy U.S. jobs report for April, a weaker dollar, and expectations of supply cuts at the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Allies, known as OPEC+, in June, have helped prevent further declines in oil prices. In addition, two reports on U.S. credit conditions and loan demand will be closely watched this week, in light of the recent stress in the regional banking system.
Traders will also keep a close eye on Chinese economic indicators, including trade, inflation, lending, and money supply figures for April. “Crude prices may continue to take the rebounding tailwind,” said Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets.