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Oil prices gain as Covid-19 vaccine hopes outweigh lockdown impact

Brent crude futures rose 53 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.93 by 1435 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 54 cents, or 1.3%, to $40.83

Topics
Oil Prices | Coronavirus Vaccine

Reuters 

crude oil prices
OPEC+ agreed to cut supply by 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from August through December and then ease the cuts by about 2 million bpd in January

rose on Tuesday as hopes that a Covid-19 vaccine could be on the horizon outweighed the expected negative impact on fuel demand from new lockdowns to contain the virus.

Brent crude futures rose 53 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.93 by 1435 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 54 cents, or 1.3%, to $40.83.

Both contracts jumped 8% on Monday in their biggest daily gains in more than five months after drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said that their experimental Covid-19 treatment was more than 90% effective based on initial trial results.

Mass rollouts, however, are likely to be months away and subject to regulatory approvals.

"A viable vaccine is unequivocally game-changing for oil - a market where half of demand comes from moving people and things around," JP Morgan said in a note.

Prices were also boosted by comments from Saudi Arabia's energy minister, who on Monday said that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, could tweak their supply pact if demand slumps before the vaccine is available.

OPEC+ agreed to cut supply by 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from August through December and then ease the cuts by about 2 million bpd in January.

However, the negative impact that renewed lockdowns in Europe are having on fuel demand, as well as rising Libyan production, kept prices in check.

Traffic in London, Paris and Madrid fell sharply in November after a peak in October, according to data provided to Reuters by location technology company TomTom for mobility until Sunday evening.

France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland were under the strictest lockdowns in Europe, according to the Oxford stringency index that assesses indicators such as school and workplace closures and travel bans.

Meanwhile, Libyan production has risen above 1 million bpd in recent days from 100,000 bpd in early September.

Global oil demand is likely to be around 96 million bpd in the winter months before rising to 101 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2021, bringing it close to levels at the end of 2019, Vitol CEO Russel Hardy told the Reuters Commodities summit.

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First Published: Tue, November 10 2020. 21:13 IST
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