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Oman crude rises to $106.12

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MUSCAT: The price of Oman crude (June 2022 delivery) climbed to $106.12 per barrel in trading on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) on Thursday. It gained $0.58 a barrel overnight.

The average price of the Omani crude benchmark (April 2022 delivery) has stabilised at $91.96 a barrel, which is $8.34 per barrel higher than March 2022 delivery.

International benchmarks bounced back on Thursday after a day of losses over demand concerns linked to China's Covid-19 lockdowns as markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell sharply.

Ongoing restrictions in the country, including in the economic hub of Shanghai, where millions remain confined to their homes, have hit transport networks.

But traders were balancing the demand shock alongside threats to supply caused by the war in Ukraine, with the European Union mulling bans on Russian crude.

The United States has said it will release a substantial portion of its reserves to cushion the shortfall.

“I continue to expect that Brent will remain in a choppy $100.00 to $120.00 range, with WTI in a $95.00 to $115.00 range,” said OANDA's senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index continued its downward spiral and Shanghai closed more than two per cent lower as news from China around Covid-19 restrictions, interest rate cuts and curbs on tech companies remained a cause of concern.

”China's markets continue to underperform, weighed down by growth fears and the Covid-zero policy on the mainland, while US delisting fears on dual-listed equities continue to hamstring Hong Kong markets as well," Halley said.

But elsewhere in Asia, markets were largely up, with Japan's Nikkei 225 making the most significant gains and continuing a week of upward movement on optimism over a falling yen. But the Bank of Japan could face pressure over its loose policy. Seoul, Jakarta, Mumbai and Sydney were all marginally higher. (With inputs from Reuters)

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