Brent Hits Highest Since March, Spurred By Coronavirus Vaccine Hopes

Brent Hits Highest Since March, Spurred By Coronavirus Vaccine Hopes

Brent crude prices hit their highest levels since March on Tuesday as more positive vaccine news spurred hopes of a quick recovery in oil demand, while U.S. President-elect Joe Biden received the go-ahead to begin his presidential transition.

Oil rose for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, shrugging off an industry report showing a higher-than-unexpected rise in USA crude stockpiles and extending a rally driven by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will boost fuel demand.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday its vaccine for the novel coronavirus, developed along with the University of Oxford, could be around 90% effective under one dosing regimen. Both benchmarks ended at their highest close since March 5, the report said. This has boosted investors' confidence as it is the third vaccine.

Brent rose to a session high of $46.56 earlier on Tuesday, the highest level traded since early March before Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russian Federation, which sent oil prices crashing.

Citing statistics, on Monday's commodity market round off, United Kingdom crude futures' prices climbed 2.45 per cent to $46.06 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate futures' prices added 1.51 per cent to $43.06 a barrel, extending last week's rally that had witnessed a weekly percentage gain of roughly 5 per cent for both of the crude oil futures.

Brent crude was up 30 cents, or 0.6%, at $48.16 a barrel by 1211 GMT, having risen nearly 4% in the previous session.

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Oil Futures trading at GMT 07.00; Brent: $+0.38 WTI: $+0.30.

The American Petroleum Institute, meanwhile, reported a 3.8 million-barrel increase in US crude inventories, according to people familiar with the data.

OPEC+ is also gearing up for its full ministerial meeting, due to take place from November 30 to December 1.

They are now due to increase production by 2 million barrels per day - about 2% of global demand before the pandemic - from January. Inventories probably rose by 225,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before the official Energy Information Administration data.

Nigeria's efforts to revamp its aging refineries may be bogged down due to a lack of resources, but Africa's top oil producer is moving ahead with mini-plants in an effort to help end its dependency on fuel imports.

A weak dollar has also provided support for crude prices as a lower dollar makes oil less expensive for buyers.

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