Oil prices rise as traders anticipate vaccine trials may spur demand

Oil prices rise as traders anticipate vaccine trials may spur demand

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 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $45.17 a barrel by 0436 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 10 cents, or 0.2%, to $42.52 a barrel.

Both benchmarks jumped 5 percent last week on the likelihood of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines beginning deployment before year-end, and USA healthcare workers and other front line workers could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for "Operation Warp Speed".

After recent encouraging updates on the vaccine front, the Oxford University and British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced today that their vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90% effective under one dosing regimen. Pfizer Inc said it will apply to USA health regulators on Friday for emergency use authoritization of its vaccine, the first such application in a major step toward providing protection against the new coronavirus.

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

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To counter the fall in demand from movement restrictions, OPEC+ members are likely to delay a plan to boost production from January by 2 million barrels per day, sources told Reuters.

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.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group on Monday said it fired a missile that struck a Saudi Aramco site in the western city of Jeddah.

There was no immediate Saudi confirmation of the claim made by the group's military spokesman. Aramco's main oil facilities in are in the east.

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