Oil Prices Rise but India Coronavirus Cases Weigh

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Oil prices rose on Friday, reversing some of the previous day39;s sharp losses as stock markets strengthened, though gains were capped by the coronavirus situation in major oil consumer India and the restart of a fuel pipeline in the United States.

Brent crude oil futures were up 66 cents, or 1, at 67.71 a barrel by 0957 GMT and West Texas Intermediate WTI crude was up 63 cents, or 1, at 64.45.

The two contracts lost about 3 on Thursday and are on track for their first weekly loss in three.

Global equities rose and the dollar slipped on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve officials said there would be no imminent move to tighten monetary policy in the worlds biggest economy.

Oil prices have come under pressure this week from surging coronavirus cases in India as well as worries that the highly transmissible variant first detected there is spreading to other countries.

India on Friday reported 343,144 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall tally past the 24 million mark, while deaths from COVID19 rose by 4,000.

Brents renewed failure to exceed 70 is likely to have sparked selling by speculative market participants, especially as operation of the Colonial Pipeline is being ramped up again in the U.S., Commerzbank said.

U.S. President Joe Biden reassured motorists that fuel supplies should start returning to normal this weekend, even as more filling stations ran out of gasoline across the Southeast nearly a week after a cyber attack forced a shutdown at the nations…

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