Oil prices have edged up 2% after comments from doctors that US President Donald Trump could be discharged from hospital as soon as 5 October as he continues to recover from the coronavirus.
The US president’s discharge news comes just a few days after he tested positive for the virus.
Update on Trump’s health eased some of the political uncertainty in the global markets.
Brent LCOc1 futures rose $0.83 or 2.1% to reach $40.10 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures increased by $0.89 or 2.4%, touching $37.94 a barrel, Reuters reported.
Prices were also supported as oil and gas major Equinor shut four of its Norwegian offshore oil and gas fields as workers expanded their strike.
According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the workers’ strike could reduce Norway’s production capacity by approximately 330,000 bpd of oil or 8% of its total production.
Oil prices fell over 4% on 2 October due to uncertainty over Trump’s health.
It added to concerns about rising cases of coronavirus infections, which could deter a global economic recovery.
Phillip Futures senior commodities manager Avtar Sandu said: “I think it’s the improving health of the US President. Over the weekend, there were a lot of conflicting reports on his health, but generally, he’s improving. He could be back to work soon.”
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member Libya has seen a ramp-up in oil production, which has risen nearly three-fold to hit 270,000 bpd last week.
OCBC economist Howie Lee said: “That very fragile supply deficit that we have looked like it’s going to be gone if Libya does produce an extra half a million bpd more alone.”