Brent crude on Thursday gained 0.69% to trade at $78.38 per barrel, while the American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), gained 0.56% to trade at $73.25 per barrel.
This can be traced to the fact that Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude oil exporter, cut the prices of all its crude grades loading for Asia
The state-controlled Saudi Aramco slashed the official selling price (OSPs) of its flagship crude grade, Arab Light, to its main in Asia and Europe for February by $1.45 per barrel, setting the price at $1.80 a barrel above the Dubai/Oman benchmark.
The premium to the Dubai/Oman average is the lowest since November 2021, but it was generally in line with expectations.
The cut in oil prices appears to be a signal that demand remains sluggish as coronavirus cases in China surge. Crude also was restrained as equities fell and the dollar strengthened after a strong US labour report fuelled speculation that interest rates have more room to rise.