Oil hits highest since March on vaccine

Oil hits highest since March on vaccine”

Brent crude settled at $47.86 a barrel, gaining $1.80, or 3.9 per cent.

AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in trials and could be up to 90% effective, providing another weapon in the fight to control the pandemic after positive results from other major pharmaceutical developers.

State-run oil explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) jumped almost 4 per cent on Wednesday, cheering a rally in oil prices to their highest level since early March.

After the price war in March, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russian Federation, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to record high output cuts to support prices.

United States crude oil inventories likely edged lower last week, while distillate stockpiles were seen decreasing for a 10th straight week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday, ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

US 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.

More news: #EndSARS: UK parliament considers sanction request against Nigeria

"With an orderly Presidential transition in sight, vaccine boosters and expectations that OPEC+ will extend production cuts next week, oil markets completely ignored the unexpected 3.8 million-barrel climb in API U.S. crude inventories", said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Brent crude rose $0.45, or 1%, to $46.51 a barrel by 1110 GMT and hit a session high of $46.72, its highest since March 6. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 27 cents, or 0.6%, to $45.18, after rising more than 4% on Tuesday. 1, following technical talks this week.

OPEC+ producers have been withholding supplies to support prices after pandemic lockdowns earlier this year caused an evaporation in demand. Investors will focus on whether the discussions will lead to an extension of current production cuts as ever-growing numbers of COVID-19 cases globally cut demand. The enthusiasm has pushed both Brent and WTI futures well above the $40 mark.

Expect Fuel Oil prices to increase in big numbers today like plus 12 - 14 usd/mton.

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.

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