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

24 Novembre, 2020, 08:44 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Oil climbs 1% clocks third straight week of gains on vaccine hope

On Friday, both U.S. and Brent crude oil futures scheduled to be expired on December 21 reported a robust rise of 1 per cent to wrap up the third straight week of gains, mostly buoyed up over hopes of a couple of successful pandemic vaccine trials which in effect had been helping investors downplay the fiscal consequences of a second wave of pandemic outbreak alongside frets of a deluge of demand crunch across the globe.

Brent crude futures rose 34 cents, or 0.7%, to $46.40 a barrel by 0323 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude added 38 cents, or 0.9%, to $43.43 a barrel.

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

Traders also focused on a week of technical meetings by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and its allies to prepare the ground for next week's ministerial gathering to discuss extending oil output curbs into next year due to weak demand amid the second wave of COVID-19.

The contango structure in the market, whereby the prices of front-month delivery contracts are lower than those for delivery six months later, narrowed to as little as 31 USA cents, its smallest since mid June, reflecting traders' views a sustained glut is receding.

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

PVM analyst Stephen Brennock said the news was detaching sentiment from "gloomy fundamentals".

OPEC+, which meets on November 30 and December 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. It will look at options to extend their deal on output cuts by at least three months from January.

Meanwhile, Yemen's Houthi group said it fired a missile that struck a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. There was no immediate Saudi confirmation of the claim.

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