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November 23, 2020updated 27 Oct 2021 10:46am

Oil prices inch higher on encouraging news of Covid-19 vaccine

Oil prices have edged higher as investors witnessed a recovery in fuel demand following successful coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trials.

By Himaja Ganta

Oil prices have edged higher as investors witnessed a recovery in fuel demand following successful coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trials.

Prices were also supported by expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and allies, including Russia, together known as OPEC+, might ‘extend a deal to restrain output’.

Brent crude futures rose by $0.94 to reach $45.90 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up by $0.76 to touch $43.18, Reuters reported.

Both the Brent and the WTI benchmarks gained 5% last week.

Demand outlook has improved with news on progression towards Covid-19 vaccines development.

According to a US official, first vaccine injections in the US could start within a day or two after securing regulatory approval.

On 23 November, British drug-making firm AstraZeneca said that its vaccine, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, could be more than 90% effective under a single dosing regimen.

PVM analyst Stephen Brennock stated the news was ‘detaching sentiment’ from ‘gloomy fundamentals’.

He added: “Investors are ignoring near-term headwinds, chief among which are surging global Covid infections, and instead of looking ahead to next summer.”

On the supply front, OPEC+ will discuss its ‘output policy’ during the ministers meet on 30 November and 1 December.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi group said it fired a missile that struck a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

However, there was ‘no immediate Saudi confirmation of the claim’, said Reuters.

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