REUTERS

Brent crude futures edged up on Tuesday as optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand trumped concerns that renewed COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns globally could cool fuel consumption.

Brent crude futures for March rose 20 cents, or 0.4%, to US$54.95 a barrel by 0351 GMT after slipping 35 cents in the previous session, Reuters reported.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at US$52.19 a barrel, down 17 cents, or 0.3%. There was no settlement on Monday as U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday. Front-month February WTI futures expire on Wednesday.

Investors are upbeat about demand in China, the world's top crude oil importer, after data released on Monday showed its refinery output rose 3% to a new record in 2020. China was also the only major economy in the world to avoid a contraction last year as many nations struggled to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investors are watching out for U.S. President-elect Biden's inauguration speech on Wednesday for details on the country's US$1.9 trillion aid package.