Oil prices rise on back of COVID vaccine news

Daniel Fowler
November 24, 2020

Oil prices settled up more than 2% on Monday, extending last week's gains as the latest report of encouraging coronavirus vaccine trials had traders anticipating a recovery in demand.

Brent crude futures were gaining about $0.90 or almost 2% at $45.87 a barrel.

Today, Brent crude is up around 1.8% changing hands at US$45.77 per barrel whilst WTI was 1.6% higher at US$43.10. The WTI contract for December CLc1, which expired on Friday, rose 41 cents, or 1%, to settle at $42.15 a barrel.

The worldwide benchmark for oil prices, Brent Crude futures, were up 0.1 percent to United States dollars 46.09 per barrel on Tuesday after closing 2 percent higher on the previous day and 5 percent in the previous week.

Find all updates with Moneycontrol's COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker here.

US healthcare workers and others recommended that the nation's first COVID-19 inoculations could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, a top official of the government's vaccine development effort said on Sunday.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday its vaccine for the novel coronavirus, developed along with the University of Oxford, could be around 90% effective under one dosing regimen.

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Also hopes in the market was that OPEC, Russia, and other producers will keep crude output in check.

"We expect the OPEC+ group to delay the ratcheting up of production targets by three months when the group meets later this month", the bank said, according to Reuters.

OPEC+ is expected to roll over current cuts into 2021 at meetings on November 30-Dec.

Smaller Russian oil companies are still planning to pump more crude this year, a group representing the producers said.

Oversupply concerns, however, continue to weigh as Libya has raised production to pre-blockade levels of 1.25 million bpd.

The spread of COVID-19 in a new wave through U.S. oil production areas (such as the Dakotas) saw the first fall in active USA oil rig use in 10 weeks last week. The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by two to 310 this week, with oil rigs alone dropping by five to 231, after hitting their highest since May last week.

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