Oil prices skyrocket as Trump’s condition improves


Oil prices exploded on Monday morning as the health of US President Donald Trump appears to have improved after testing positive for the coronavirus on Thursday evening.

As of 11:06 a.m. EDT, the price of the benchmark WTI had risen 6.15% to $ 39.33. While the gains are substantial for the day, they are still below $ 40 a barrel and still below prices from just a week ago, with the two major benchmarks stumbling on Friday as news reports that President Trump had tested positive.

But on Monday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggested the president was improving and was ready to return to work as usual. Meadows also indicated that President Trump may return to the White House later today. The US president also took a few moments out of his hospital confinement on Sunday to appear in a procession to greet his supporters.

While Trump was criticized for his brash move on Sunday, his appearance instilled confidence in the markets.

The benchmark Brent was trading up 5.65% to $ 41.49.

Prices were also supported by a strike in Norway that closed six offshore oil and gas fields on Monday, including four from Equinor. More oil and gas field closures are possible in Norway as the strike continues to escalate over wages.

The strike, while painful for Norway, is a welcome addition to oil markets which are struggling with weak demand and growing supply in Libya. Production increased in Libya to almost double after the lifting of the months-long blockade.

In Libya, production is now estimated to be around 300,000 bpd. It is estimated that the strike in Norway took 330,000 bpd offline, which more than offset the gains in Libya.

By Julianne Geiger for OilUSD

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