Brent crude futures were up 17 cents, or 0.2%, at $104.03 a barrel by 0041 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $96.35 a barrel.
WTI has fallen over the past two sessions after data showed U.S. gasoline demand fell nearly 8% from a year ago, amid the height of the summer driving season, hit by record prices on the road.
“At 8.52 million barrels per day, demand is at its lowest seasonal level since 2008 as higher petrol prices weigh on consumers,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.
WTI’s decline put the contract on track for a 1.3% decline this week, its third straight weekly loss.
In contrast, signs of stronger demand in Asia supported the Brent benchmark, moving it to its first weekly gain in six weeks.
Despite higher prices, India’s demand for gasoline and distillates hit an all-time high in June, with total consumption of refined products up 18% year-on-year and Indian refineries running close to their busiest levels, analysts said.
“This is more than a strong recovery from the Covid-affected years,” RBC analyst Michael Tran said in a note.
On the supply side, the resumption of production from several oil fields in Libya kept a lid on Brent’s gains this week.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday raised interest rates more than expected in a bid to curb inflation, as ECB President Christine Lagarde warned that inflationary risks have increased as the war in Ukraine drags on and energy prices remain low for longer. will be high.
“Is the horizon cloudy? Of course it is,” Lagarde said.
But the central bank’s basic view is that there will be no recession this year or next.
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