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Brent oil prices rose to a one-month high due to a decline in new coronavirus Covid-19 cases in China and supply worries in Venezuela and Libya.

According to Reuters, Brent crude futures were up by $0.07 at $59.19 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased $0.17to $53.46 per barrel.

The death toll from the virus has increased to more than 2,128, as of the end of 19 Feburary. This includes two deaths reported in Iran and the deaths of two passengers from Diamond Princess, as of the end of 19 February. Overall, the death toll rose by 108, down from 132 compared to the previous trading day.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed an increase in the US crude stocks by 4.16 million barrels in the week that ended on 14 February.

Investors are still awaiting official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

JBC Energy said: “The market found support in still growing optimism over a soon-to-be-felt increase in Chinese economic activity and the prospect of Venezuelan export constraints increasing.”

This week, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Rosneft’s Geneva-based trading unit Rosneft Trading. This came after the US criticised Russia’s backing of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

Reuters said that the move could further reduce the OPEC+ Group’s crude exports.

Meanwhile, the ongoing shutdown of crude production pipelines in Libya has lasted for over a month. It has reduced OPEC member’s crude production by over one million barrels per day, causing a rise in oil prices.

Reuters suggested that the Libya conflict has not made any progress towards resolution. The conflict has led to a blockade of Libyan ports and oilfields.