China has once again sent oil prices spiking by easing Covid regulations, OilPrices reports.

The Chinese government has eased its zero-COVID requirements despite surging cases across the country, reducing quarantine periods for inbound travelers as well as their close contacts and scrapping fines for airlines carrying infected passengers, boosting hopes of a China normalization. Better-than-expected US inflation data and China’s long-anticipated easing of Covid rules have helped stave off a significant oil price decline this week, with ICE Brent back at $96-97 per barrel. 

Surging coronavirus cases in China, replicating or in some cases surpassing 2020 levels of contagion, have sent ripples across the oil markets, but Beijing’s shifting lockdown stance is partially offsetting those fears. Markets have been waiting all year for China to bounce back, with the country currently on track to see a year-on-year demand decrease for the first time in two decades. There’s plenty of bearish news still out there, but if China continues to open up then prices are sure to keep climbing.