Global oil prices rose on Tuesday, edging up from a three-week low in the previous trading session, but gains are likely to be limited on worries that rising COVID-19 cases and restrictions in China will dent fuel demand, Reuters news agency reports.
In early morning trades, Brent crude was up by 29 cents, or 0.4%, at $69.33 a barrel, after falling 2.3% on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up by 46 cents, or 0.7%, at $66.94 a barrel, having fallen by 2.6% in the previous session.
China on Monday reported more COVID-19 infections. Some cities in China, the world's top crude oil importer, have stepped up mass testing as authorities try to stamp out locally transmitted infections of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus.
"There is still plenty of uncertainty about how the COVID-19 situation in China will evolve and what this means for oil demand and prices," ING Economics said in a note, adding that a stronger U.S. dollar was also weighing on prices.
In the United States, the Senate is set to vote on the passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill later on Tuesday, which, if passed would boost the economy and demand for oil products, analysts said.
But surging cases of COVID-19 are blighting the outlook for economic growth and overall consumption.
Still, U.S. crude oil, gasoline, and other oil product inventories are likely to have dropped last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.