Brent crude <LCOc1> futures were 40 cents higher at $41.45 at
1127 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude <CLc1>
futures were up 21 cents at $38.93.
The contracts are on track for weekly falls of around 1.8% and
2.2%, respectively, after record U.S. crude inventory data
dragged prices down on Wednesday.
Congestion in Shanghai in the past few weeks was higher than in
the same period last year, while in Moscow traffic was back to
last year's levels, data provided to Reuters by location
technology company TomTom showed.
"Road traffic levels in a number of the world’s major cities
reached the previous year’s level in June, which indicates that
demand for fuel is normalising," Commerzbank said in a note.
April gasoline demand:
However, there are fears a spike in COVID-19 infections in
southern U.S. states could stall the demand recovery, especially
as some of those states, such as Florida and Texas, are among
the biggest gasoline consumers.
The global economic outlook has also worsened or at best stayed
about the same in the past month, a majority of economists
polled by Reuters said, and the recession underway is expected
to be deeper than earlier predicted.
"It does appear the market is ignoring supply and demand
fundamentals and moving on sentiment," said Michael McCarthy,
chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
The prospect of increased U.S. crude production also kept a lid
on gains on Friday.
A survey of executives in the top U.S. oil and gas producing
region by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank found more than half
of executives who cut production expect to resume some output by
the end of July.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Sonali
Paul in Melbourne; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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