By Stephanie Kelly
(Reuters) – Oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session after China’s central bank said it would support its economy.
However, concerns about demand weighed on futures, as authorities in Beijing raced to stamp out a nascent COVID-19 outbreak and avert the same debilitating city-wide lockdown that has shrouded Shanghai for a month.
Brent crude futures rose $1.11, or 1.1%, to $106.10 a barrel by 0019 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 84 cents, or 0.8%, to $102.54 a barrel.
Crude prices rose about 3% in the previous session in volatile trade.
China’s central bank said on Tuesday it will step up prudent monetary policy support to its economy. Any stimulus would boost oil demand.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Gazprom told Poland’s PGNiG it will halt gas supplies along the Yamal pipeline from Wednesday morning, PGNiG said in a statement. Gazprom said Poland would need to begin making payments under a new scheme as of Tuesday.
The news sent NYMEX ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures up more than 9% on Tuesday to settle at $4.47 a gallon, a record close.
In supply, U.S. government data on crude inventories is due later on Wednesday. Industry data on Tuesday showed U.S. crude and distillate stocks rose last week while gasoline inventories fell. [API/S]
(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; editing by Richard Pullin)