REUTERS

The price of Brent crude oil edged higher on Wednesday, lifted by U.S. producers shutting most of their offshore output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura and optimism over China-U.S. trade talks.

But gains were capped amid renewed concern over the coronavirus pandemic, which has squeezed fuel demand, after reports from Europe and Asia of patients being re-infected with COVID-19, raising concerns about future immunity, as reported by Reuters.

Read alsoUkraine anti-trust watchdog to step up fuel market monitoring over BelarusBrent crude oil futures LCOc1 added 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $45.94 a barrel by 0134 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $43.33 a barrel. Both benchmarks settled at a five-month high on Tuesday.

The U.S. energy industry on Tuesday was preparing for a major hurricane strike. Producers evacuated 310 offshore facilities and shut 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output, 84% of Gulf of Mexico's offshore production – near the 90% outage that Hurricane Katrina brought 15 years ago.