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Oil prices up as EU agrees on budget, coronavirus aid

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Jul 22, 2020 - 07:37 AM

ANKARA (AA) – Crude oil prices were up on Tuesday as European Union leaders agreed on a budget and package for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which offered hope that oil consumption on the continent would increase for the remainder of the year.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $43.50 per barrel at 0634 GMT for a 1% increase after closing Monday at $43.20 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $41.08 a barrel at the same time for a 0.6% gain after ending the previous session at $40.83 per barrel.

After four days of intense negotiations, EU leaders agreed early Tuesday on a seven-year €1.074 trillion ($1.23 trillion) budget between 2021 and 2027, and €750 billion ($858 billion) on a coronavirus fund to provide relief to EU countries that are affected the most by COVID-19.

Investors are hopeful the relief package will restart the European economy, boost oil consumption on the continent for the rest of 2020, and spur crude prices higher.

Global oil consumption, however, is still weak, as the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the globe has reached 14.7 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US continues to lead with the most cases at 3.8 million, followed by Brazil with 2.1 million cases while India has the third highest with 1.1 million cases. (Ovunc Kutlu)

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