Oil prices climbed on Wednesday as hopes of an effective COVID-19 vaccine continued to bolster sentiment and an industry report showed US crude inventories fell more than expected.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
Brent crude rose $1.17, or 2.7 percent, to $44.78 a barrel at 0925 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added $1.17 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $42.53 a barrel. Both benchmarks gained nearly 3 percent on Tuesday.
“This week’s news about a coronavirus vaccine was encouraging and, alongside short-covering activity, strongly supported oil prices on Monday and Tuesday,” said Giovanni Staunovo, oil analyst for UBS.
The bank cautioned that European lockdowns and restored Libyan oil output could weigh on prices in the short term, but forecast oil at $60 a barrel by the end of 2021 based on the likelihood that producers would continue to rein in supply.
US crude stockpiles fell by 5.1 million barrels last week to about 482 million barrels, industry group data showed on Tuesday, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a reduction of 913,000 barrels.
Both Brent and US oil prices are up more than 13 percent this week since initial trials data showed the experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc and Germany’s BioNTech was 90 percent effective.
Although oil prices are supported by the positive news on the vaccine, the overall fuel demand outlook remains clouded as coronavirus restrictions are reimposed in Europe and United States.
“Hopes of a return to pre-COVID normalcy next year have been given a huge boost this week. Before then, however, a difficult winter is on the cards. Infection rates are still accelerating in several parts of the world including the US,” said Stephen Brennock of broker PVM.
Renewed restrictions in Europe and the United States to combat the coronavirus have slowed the pace of the fuel demand recovery, offsetting a rebound in Asian economies where consumption has almost returned to pre-COVID levels.
Iran exports 700,000 oil bpd, figure later denied as the country fights US sanctionsAn Iranian official said on Wednesday that Tehran exported up to 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil since March, but was later ... World News
Coronavirus: Moderna to report COVID-19 vaccine data later this monthModerna Inc said on Wednesday it was on track to report early data from a late-stage trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine later this month, ... Coronavirus
OPEC expects coronavirus to hinder oil demand recovery into 2021Global oil demand will rebound more slowly in 2021 than previously thought because of rising coronavirus cases, OPEC said on Wednesday, hampering ... Coronavirus
Oil jumps 10 pct on coronavirus vaccine hopes and OPEC+ supply signalsOil jumped by almost 10 percent on Monday for its biggest daily gain in almost six months after news of a highly effective Pfizer vaccine against ... Energy
Saudi energy minister says OPEC+ oil output deal could be adjustedThe OPEC+ deal on oil output cuts could be adjusted as it has been in the past if there is consensus among members of the informal producers’ group, ... Energy
UAE’s ADNOC CEO says oil demand may fluctuate, remains strong long-termAbu Dhabi National Oil Company’s chief executive Sultan al-Jaber said on Monday that oil demand may fluctuate in the months ahead but the long-term ... Energy
Aramco results show troubling times until end of 2021 for national oil companiesThe world’s largest oil and gas company Saudi Aramco released its third quarter results Tuesday, painting a bleak picture for the world’s national oil ... World
Sudan’s new al-Rawat oilfield to start operation within two weeksSudan will add 3,000 barrels a day of oil production from a new oilfield, which will boost the country’s output to 64,000 bpd, the general manager of ... Energy