Tokyo — Oil prices rose on Friday as governments around the world pledged a huge injection of funds and other measures to limit the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, despite fears the outbreak will destroy demand for oil.
Brent crude was up 22c, or 0.8%, at $26.56 a barrel by 4.15am GMT. US crude was up 42c, or 1.9%, at $23.02.
Both of the benchmarks are down nearly two-thirds this year and the slump in economic activity and fuel demand has forced retrenchment in investment by oil and other energy companies.
Oil requirements around the world may drop 20% as 3-billion people are in lockdown, the head of the International Energy Agency said as he called on major producers such as Saudi Arabia to help stabilise oil markets.
“It’s going to be a very uncertain year for us from a price point of view,” Peter Coleman, the head of Australian oil and gas developer Woodside Petroleum told investors on a conference call on Friday.