Crude oil prices increased on Tuesday amid market optimism over a rebound in demand from the removal of coronavirus pandemic-induced restrictions in several developed countries.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $75.44 per barrel at 0720 GMT for a 0.37% increase after closing Monday at $75.16 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $74.40 a barrel at the same time for a 0.40% rise after ending the previous session at $74.10 per barrel.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday confirmed that almost all the remaining coronavirus restrictions would be lifted by July 19.

”While the phenomenal vaccine rollout has offered every adult some protection against the virus, and the crucial link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths is weakened, the global pandemic is not over yet,” Johnson said.

The oil market is currently focused on a demand recovery with the relaxation of restrictions in most European countries against the pandemic as vaccinations pick up the pace.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its estimations on oil stock figures later on Tuesday. Oil prices are projected to rise further if the API reports a drop in stocks.

However, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant is still raising concerns about economic activity.

On the supply side, uncertainties continue as OPEC and its allies, the group dubbed OPEC+, failed to agree on an extension on its output policy or the quantity of its crude production cuts.

The dispute among OPEC+ members occurred after the UAE objected to the group’s plans to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from August to December. The group also wants to prolong the term of its production cut agreement, which was inked in October 2018, from April to December 2022.

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