WTI crude futures held around $77.5 per barrel on Thursday after rising for five straight sessions, underpinned by an improving demand outlook in top crude importer China following the end of the countryâ€™s zero-Covid policy. Concerns about the impact of sanctions on Russian supply also supported oil prices, as European Union curbs aimed at Russian fuel product sales are set to take effect in February. The US Energy Information Agency said the upcoming EU ban on seaborne imports of petroleum products from Russian on Feb. 5 could be more disruptive than the EU ban on seaborne imports of crude oil from Russia implemented in December 2022, Reuters reported. Oil prices also firmed up ahead of a key US inflation report, as investors are betting that it would show further easing in price pressures, supporting the case for a less aggressive tightening from the FederalÂ Reserve.
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