Oil prices extend gains on COVID vaccine hopes

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China
FILE PHOTO: A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

November 23, 2020

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices extended their gains on Monday as traders were optimistic about a recovery in crude demand thanks to successful coronavirus vaccine trials, but price gains were contained by renewed lockdowns in several countries.

Sentiment was also bolstered by hopes that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, will keep crude output in check.

Brent crude futures rose 17 cents, or 0.4%, to $45.13 a barrel by 0039 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 4 cents, or 0.1%, to $42.46 a barrel. Both benchmarks had increased by 5% last week.

“Positive sentiment continues to be driven by the recent good news about the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines in development and the expectation that the OPEC+ meeting at the end of this month could see the group extend current cuts by 3-6 months,” said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at axi.  

U.S. 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.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for “Operation Warp Speed”, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would likely grant approval in mid-December for distribution of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech [22UAy.DE], launching the largest inoculation campaign in U.S. history.

Elsewhere, OPEC+, which meets on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, is looking at options to delay by at least three months from January the tapering of their 7.7 million barrel per day (bpd) cuts by around 2 million bpd.

But smaller Russian oil companies are still planning to pump more crude this year despite a global deal to cut production as they have little leeway in managing the output of start-up fields, a group representing the producers said on Friday.

(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Free America Network Articles

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Hoping there will be no more Thanksgivings like this one

When families gather on Thursday, there will likely be fewer places at the table, a smaller turkey in the oven, a dessert or two, instead of the pies and cookies that result from a big family baking binge. This is the year of our COVID Thanksgiving. Quarantines and isolation orders […]