Oil gains as Trump returns to White House

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    MELBOURNE – Oil prices edged higher in early trade on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump returned to the White House from hospital after being admitted for treatment for COVID-19 last Friday, while another storm brewed in the US Gulf of Mexico.

    Prices fell sharply last Friday when Trump went into hospital, then climbed more than 5 percent on Monday after he said he would return to the White House and as hopes grew that a deal could be agreed for a US economic stimulus package to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 2 cents to $39.24 a barrel. Brent crude futures rose 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $41.37 a barrel.

    An expanding strike by workers in Norway, which shut six offshore oil and gas fields, and the evacuation of oil platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Delta heading toward Louisiana and Florida also helped support prices.