Oil prices slightly, but remain on track for a third straight weekly gain.

However, concerns over fuel demand emerging from surging cases of Covid-19 infections and renewed lockdowns across several countries restricted further gains.

Oil markets this week were boosted by encouraging news of an effective Covid-19 vaccine and hopes that OPEC+ Group will delay a planned increase in oil production.

Brent crude futures rose by $0.02 to reach $44.22 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down by $0.03 to touch at $41.71, Reuters reported.

OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley was quoted by Reuters as stating: “Both contracts continue to consolidate at the upper end of their November ranges. However, momentum has notably waned, and both are vulnerable to negative headline surprises now.”

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said that the oil markets have trimmed their weekly gains ‘as virus surge throws a wet blanket over vaccine optimism but it is all down to OPEC’.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, will discuss its ‘output policy’ during the ministers meet on 30 November and 1 December.

Energy consultancy Trifecta Sukrit Vijayakar said: “The next few sessions are going to be choppy. The good news is that there seems to be hope of containing the disease.”

Furthermore, oil prices received some support after US Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to restart talks on providing more coronavirus-related relief aid as cases rise across the US.