Brent crude and WTI oil prices stabilise after early losses on Monday

 
Francesca Washtell
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Oil prices recovered modestly from a start in the red on Monday morning (Source: Getty)

Oil prices stabilised from early losses on Monday morning as the market absorbed the news that the decline in the number of US oil rigs had halted.

Last week, US energy firms added one oil rig in the first addition since December following 12 weeks of cuts, according to oil services firm Baker Hughes.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 0.8 per cent to $41.20 per barrel this morning, but prices had reached $41.53 per barrel by 1.12pm (GMT).

The price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude crude fell 1.4% to $38.89 a barrel earlier this morning.

However, both benchmarks are up around 10 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, China's monthly oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose to their second highest level on record in February with shipments of 1.38m barrels per day (bpd), according to the latest customs data.

China's total oil imports rose around 20 per cent year-on-year in February, the highest ever level on a daily basis, as weak crude oil prices drove up sales and state and commercial stockpiling.

Shipments from Russia, which came in third place behind Angola, were up almost 48 per cent on a daily basis from a year ago to 1.03m bpd.

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